AROUND THE NFL

Two years ago, the Bears were first round idiots for trading up to draft an unsung QB from a North Carolina school (MITCHELL TRUBISKY), while John Lynch and the 49ers had owned the draft by getting DL SOLOMON THOMAS and snatching LB REUBEN FOSTER later in the first round.  This from Bleacher Report:

 

John Lynch made two noteworthy splashes Thursday night during his first draft as the San Francisco 49ers’ general manager.

 

The first came when the 49ers moved down one spot to No. 3 overall in a deal with the Chicago Bears and selected defensive end Solomon Thomas. The second took place when they traded back into Round 1 at No. 31 overall to select linebacker Reuben Foster.

 

To hear Lynch tell it, those moves represented huge wins.

 

“I can tell you right off the bat that what we had on the board was just under 200 players, and in terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” he said, per ESPN.com‘s Nick Wagoner.

 

This from Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com:

 

After all, the Bears had just signed veteran Mike Glennon in free agency to a deal worth $16 million guaranteed in 2017. Conventional wisdom suggested the Bears would select a quarterback in the second or third rounds — not the first.

 

Instead, Pace shocked the football world by trading up one spot with the San Francisco 49ers to draft North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky second overall.

 

Trubisky was viewed by many analysts as the best quarterback in the 2017 class, but he had made only 13 collegiate starts. That made Trubisky more of a project than a sure thing.

 

However, Pace was smitten by Trubisky. The Bears general manager waged a covert operation to keep his true feelings about Trubisky secret — even from those within his own organization.

 

Pace staked his career to the young quarterback.

 

To acquire the No. 2 pick, the Bears sent the Niners the third overall choice in the first round and pick Nos. 67 and 111 in the 2017 draft as well as Chicago’s third-round pick in 2018.

 

The DB admits to being part of that conventional wisdom at the time.  But now, the tables have turned.  David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune reviewed the deal with hindsight last December:

 

Truth is, cutting through perception to the reality 20 months later, the 49ers have more reasons to regret the 2017 draft than the Bears do.

 

Moving back one spot to No. 3, the 49ers drafted defensive end Solomon Thomas out of Stanford, whose well-documented struggles coping with the suicide of his sister have contributed to his poor production. Lynch packaged the fourth-round pick the Bears gave him to move back into the first round at No. 31 to draft linebacker Reuben Foster, an off-the-field headache released earlier this year after a domestic-violence incident. Those are closer to being two first-round misses than hits for Lynch.

 

The 49ers dealt the third-round pick to the Saints, who chose running back Alvin Kamara, the speedster whose talents flourished in coach Sean Payton’s offense. So after some wheeling and dealing, the 49ers turned the Bears’ third-round choice in 2017 into three players: injured safety Adrian Colbert and 2018 selections Dante Pettis (44th overall), a wide receiver who has flashed lately, and safety D.J. Reed (142nd). The 2018 third-round pick acquired from the Bears, linebacker Fred Warner, projects as the most productive player the 49ers received in the deal and enters Sunday’s game with 104 tackles.

 

Meanwhile, the Bears ended up with only Trubisky, an individual with an innate sense of team whose progress under Nagy propped open the Bears’ championship window a little wider. That progress was worth whatever mid-round role players Pace sacrificed to seize the moment. Everything about the Bears’ ascension from worst to first in the NFC North began when Pace was mocked for giving up so much to get Mitch.

 

Remember, that offseason began with the Bears fixated on finding a starting quarterback after finally moving on from Jay Cutler. Speculation surrounded Jimmy Garoppolo, Pace’s fellow Eastern Illinois alumnus, but the Patriots held on to the quarterback until trading him in October 2017 to the 49ers. As a stopgap, Pace signed free agent Mike Glennon, an $18 million mistake Trubisky helped erase.

 

Giving the Bears an early edge over the 49ers in the Trubisky trade doesn’t excuse Pace for passing on two quarterbacks likely to enjoy better careers. MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes went eight picks after Trubisky to the Chiefs at No. 10. In fairness, had the Bears picked Mahomes second, as polished as he appears now, that would have been viewed as a reach on many draft boards. He landed on the right team with the right coach in Andy Reid.

 

All of the above is preview to our review of Thursday night’s activities, where we can all pile on Giants GM for using his 6th overall pick on an unsung QB from a North Carolina school (and also drafting a hefty interior DL with #17).  Meanwhile, the Redskins are being hailed for getting the experts favorite pure QB in DWAYNE HASKINS and making a bold trade up into the first round to get a player with talent and baggage.

 

We love what the Redskins did at the expense of the Giants today, but time could prove us wrong.

 

But, for now, let the Gettleman bashing begin in NY GIANTS below – and the praise for WASHINGTON also commence.

 

NFC NORTH

 

GREEN BAY

Conventional wisdom said that the Packers had to appease QB AARON RODGERS and get him weapons.  And as Mel Kiper notes in calling the Green Bay picks “head scratchers” they did not add to those in Mr. Rodgers offensive neighborhood.

 

The picks: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan (No. 12); Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland (No. 21)

 

Kiper’s top 300: Final 2019 NFL draft Big Board and position rankings

Let’s be clear: I like the prospects Green Bay got. Gary is a top-five talent, and Savage is a versatile defensive back who fills a need. But does Aaron Rodgers like these guys? I have been saying all along that the Packers needed to help out their superstar quarterback in Round 1. How can they not take a pass-catcher or an offensive lineman with one of these picks?

 

The Packers for years have tried to get by with midtier talent at skill positions, and though there’s not an elite, No. 1 wideout on the board, Marquise Brown could have really helped. GM Brian Gutenkunst also traded up to get Savage, dealing two valuable fourth-round picks in the process.

 

NFC EAST

 

NEW YORK GIANTS

We come here to bash David Gettleman (although see our warning above).

 

The fundamental problems, noted in two tweets:

 

Bill Barnwell

@billbarnwell

So, the Giants traded Damon Harrison and then traded Odell Beckham to get a replacement for Damon Harrison.

 

Joel Klatt

@joelklatt

 17h17 hours ago

More

The @Giants could have waited until this pick to select Daniel Jones…100%

 

Steve Serby of the New York Post:

 

So Dave Gettleman finally fell in love with a quarterback.

 

But what angry Giants fans have every right to ask is this:

 

Daniel Jones with the sixth bleeping pick?

 

Cue the John McEnroe tape:

 

YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!

 

How do you neglect your depleted defense by passing on a gifted pass rusher like Kentucky’s Josh Allen with the sixth pick of Thursday night’s NFL draft?

 

Does Jones have enough arm to succeed Eli Manning and carry the team one day and be the Giants’ next franchise quarterback?

 

Gettleman not falling in love with Sam Darnold, The Other Josh Allen or Josh Rosen a year ago forced him to reach for a projection that satisfies his need to implement the Kansas City model that worked like a charm for the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes studying under Alex Smith for a year.

 

And so the firing squad was waiting for Gettleman when he faced the music after Round 1 had mercifully ended for Giants fans.

 

At the very end of the interrogation, I asked Gettleman what he would tell apoplectic Giants fans to comfort them.

 

“In time you’ll be very pleased,” he said.

 

Drafting a quarterback at No. 6 who will not play football this season over an impact defensive player like Allen increases the Giants’ chances of capturing another top-10 pick in the 2020 draft — and not spend it on studs such as Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert or Jake Fromm.

 

“He’s just perfect for us,” Gettleman said.

 

Gettleman saw all he needed to see of Daniel Jones at the Senior Bowl.

 

“I saw a professional quarterback … I was in full-bloom love,” he said.

 

The 2019 Giants are certainly not equipped to win, and now you have to question whether the 2020 Giants will have a legitimate chance to win with Jones — or 39-year-old Eli Manning if the kid needs more schooling — and with this suspect defense.

 

“Maybe we’re gonna be the Green Bay model,” Gettleman said, “where [Aaron] Rodgers sat for three years. Who knows?”

 

He was kidding, right?

 

Good luck, Saquon Barkley.

 

Look, no one is saying Jones will be Dave Brown, another Dookie who was not the post-Phil Simms answer. He has smarts and toughness and work ethic and the right makeup and more athleticism than Manning. Gettleman and Pat Shurmur applaud his poise and pocket presence. And there will be some who will take solace in the fact a quarterback guru like Duke coach David Cutcliffe looks at Jones and sees the Manning Bros., all of whom he has coached. And legendary HOF executive Gil Brandt has compared Jones to Peyton Manning at a similar stage. Love Brandt, but he and Cutcliffe are in the minority in that one. Others see Ryan Tannehill.

 

“We drafted a quarterback that we believe is a franchise quarterback,” Gettleman said.

 

Sorry, Daniel Jones was not the sixth best player in the draft.

 

He wasn’t even the best quarterback in this draft. Dwayne Haskins was, and he’s on the Redskins. And Daniel Snyder got him at 15.

 

Chris Simms, son of Phil? He viewed Jones as a second-rounder.

 

Sure, it’s nice Gettleman had the kind of conviction on Jones that Ernie Accorsi had in 2004 on Eli Manning, but he could have waited for the draft to come to him and at worst, traded up a few slots for Jones, or at best, take him with the 17th pick.

 

“I was not willing to risk it,” Gettleman said.

 

Here’s the thing that worries you about Gettleman: What if he has fallen in love with the wrong quarterback?

 

There are Giants fans today who only hope they hear Gettleman say: “We didn’t draft him to trade him.”

 

What if Gettleman and Pat Shurmur were seduced and intoxicated by the dream of finding an Eli clone, in temperament, personality and style?

 

“I’m going to try to be myself and not be Eli,” Jones said.

 

The good news: Jones will fit in just fine with the culture.

 

A text from my high school buddy Giants fan in Los Angeles: “When does the nightmare end?”

 

Followed by: “Since Gettleman’s plan is to kick ass could you kindly inquire or advise if Jones plays DE or linebacker??? Thank you.”

 

The 17th pick, the one acquired in the ill-advised Odell Beckham Jr. trade, NT Dexter Lawrence, is a 342-pound hog molly who will be anathema to Ezekiel Elliott, but there still isn’t an elite pass rusher in the house. Gettleman traded Nos. 37, 132 and 142 for cover corner DeAndre Baker at 30.

 

The Giants are a long, long way from any Super Bowl. But Josh Allen from Kentucky would have gotten them a step closer than Daniel Jones.

 

Gettleman has told us that you better have mental toughness to play in this market. And now Jones will be measured against Darnold for the rest of his New York career. He better have the same armadillo skin that Gettleman has.

 

Cutcliffe told me that Jones wanted the New York stage. Jones, about as popular with Giants fans as Kristaps Porzingis was with Knicks fans the night he was drafted, was lucky he wasn’t at the MetLife viewing party. The poor kid would have felt the way Roger Goodell must feel standing in front of the draft audience announcing the picks.

 

Big Blew it.

 

Paul Schwartz of the Post on the cautious nature of the handoff:

 

The call went out to Eli Manning at not exactly the same time as the Giants selected Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick Thursday night in the NFL draft, but close to it. A franchise that has great respect for its quarterback was not about to leave him in the dark as it added to the team the player who one day will replace him.

 

“He was fine,’’ Gettleman said of Manning’s reaction. “I told him, ‘It’s your job, let’s roll.’ He said, ‘Let’s go.’ ’’

 

Gettleman reiterated to Manning that he remains the starting quarterback, now and possibly into the future. Jones was taken to sit and learn during his rookie season. And what if Manning plays well and the Giants decide to extend his contract? Does Jones continue to wait his turn?

 

“Who knows?’’ Gettleman said. “We drafted a quarterback we believe is a franchise quarterback. That’s really the long and short of it.’’

 

Coach Pat Shurmur said he told Manning “it’s your job to win games and keep this guy off the field.’’

 

Gettleman said bringing Jones into the mix “doesn’t bother Eli,’’ but there is no doubt this is unexplored territory for Manning and the Giants. There has never been anything close to a threat to Manning in the quarterback room and, while Jones is not an immediate threat, if the 2019 season goes south, there will be intense pressure to get Jones onto the field. After all, he was the sixth pick in the draft, and players taken that high often do not sit and wait for long.

 

Now the Giants may have truly preferred Jones over DWAYNE HASKINS – or convinced themselves they did. 

 

But the “genius” of the selection is that Jones is perceived so terribly that there will be no rush to deny Eli a full swan song season.  If you draft Haskins, everyone would be pushing for the rookie to move Eli out of the way immediately.

 

Ryan Glasspiegel of the Big Lead thinks that Pat Schurmur’s body language said he wanted you to know that this is all Gettleman.

 

The best thing as a fan is when your team wins, but if you can’t have that a big part of the game is believing that you know better than the stubborn men in charge. Dave Gettleman, in picking Daniel Jones instead of the higher-upside Dwayne Haskins or a top-flight pass rusher, proved Giants fans right that he’s incapable of holding the job. But it’s not just the fans: In the press conference above, it is striking to examine the dour body language of Pat Shurmur.

 

In the video, Shurmur outwardly says all the right things about how there was a consensus in the organization behind Jones, how they got their guy, and how he could be the Big Blue starter for a very long time. But his poker face pretty overtly displays that he’s holding a hand of having fought for a different path and been overruled by his boss.

 

I get that the Draft is an absolutely grueling process and that by the end of the first day — after four months of rigorous evaluations, give-and-take discussion inside the building, and building a big board — one is exhausted. Nevertheless, if the Giants had really done what Shurmur wanted, he would’ve been up there exuberant about how much more room they’d have for activities.

 

Now, we don’t know exactly which path Shurmur would have preferred — if he’d have rather had a quarterback in Haskins that he could eventually open up the playbook with, or an immediate impact maker to menace the opposing quarterback. As an armchair psychologist, to me, it just looks like the gears are spinning inside his head that if Jones ever does pan out he’ll be long gone and it will be in service of his successor — and that it’s highly unlikely Shurmur would get a third opportunity as a head coach even if everyone with eyes can tell the franchise management around him was incompetent both times.

 

Is Eli Manning the answer? Of course not, and Shurmur knows that. But he also knows that Eli was returning and if that was going to be the circumstance he was presumably hoping for someone who could fill one of the many holes on the rest of the Giants’ roster right now, and if not that then a quarterback who could at least excite the fan base. Now he’ll likely be collateral damage.

 

Some grades on Jones:

 

Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

 

Best: Sports Illustrated, C+

 

Only two first-round quarterbacks since 2005 have sat and learned from the bench their entire rookie year before becoming a franchise QB: Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. Daniel Jones has much less raw talent than either of those two. But, like the man—or ManNING—Jones will soon replace, he thrives with clean pocket mechanics and traditional execution. Also like Manning, Jones’s game must be predicated on shrewd pre-snap reads, as he didn’t make a lot of late-in-the-progression throws or second-reaction plays at Duke.

 

Worst: The Ringer, D-

 

His struggles in a few crucial categories casts doubt on his ability to develop into a starting-caliber quarterback: He displayed questionable decision-making, anticipation, and deep accuracy at Duke, and he now faces a steep learning curve as he transitions to the pros after running the Blue Devils’ RPO-heavy offense. His career statistics in that scheme are, let’s say, less than encouraging: Jones averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt, finished with a 60 percent completion rate, and threw 29 interceptions to go along with his 52 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter.

 

Jones came in at 100 on my big board, so clearly I’m not enamored of his value. He has some tools, but he’s a major project who doesn’t stand out in any particular area. On the bright side, I like the fit if only because he doesn’t have to start right away. He’ll have a chance to sit and learn from Eli Manning, which gives him better odds at turning into a starter.

 

These on NT DEXTER LAWRENCE:

 

Best: CBS Sports, B

 

The Giants wanted to come away with one big guy, whether it be a defensive lineman or an offensive lineman and a quarterback in the first round. Gettleman is doing exactly what he wanted to do. He wanted to get a big, massive man on the line and he did just that.

 

Worst: USA Today, F

 

I mean, I guess this pick is on-brand for Dave Gettleman, who seems to be obsessed with building a team that can win the NFC East in 1993. Dexter Lawrence is a good player, but he’s a run-stuffer (a very good one) and that just isn’t a valuable skill. Look at it this way: The Giants traded Damon Harrison, the best run defender in the NFL, for a fifth-round pick. Then, essentially, traded Odell Beckham for a player they hope will turn into Harrison one day.

 

Here’s Mel Kiper, Jr. who is about as big a defender as Gettleman can find today as he calls his moves head-scratching:

 

The picks: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke (No. 6); Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (No. 17); Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia (No. 30)

 

I said earlier this week that the Giants were the team that had to nail this first round. They had to get impact starters. This is after an offseason in which they let Landon Collins leave in free agency, traded Odell Beckham Jr. and committed to Eli Manning for another season. GM Dave Gettleman needed to get everything back on track.

 

Did he do that in Round 1? I have questions, particularly around value. Are Jones, Lawrence and Baker — for whom they traded up to finish with three first-rounders — going to make the Giants better in 2019?

 

I like Jones’ potential, and I picked him to go to the Giants in my final mock draft … at No. 17. I had Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock ranked higher. So this is high for him, but the Giants clearly identified Jones as their guy. Lawrence is a solid player, but he’s not going to provide much as an interior pass-rusher as a 342-pound nose tackle. Baker is a good, solid player, but his technique was sloppy last season, and he dropped a little on my board. Again, he was clearly No. 1 on the Giants’ board, as he was the first cornerback taken in the draft.

 

So the jury is still out here, and New York doesn’t pick again until the 95th pick because of the trade up for Baker.

 

The DB was actually at the Senior Bowl and saw the same three series that Dave Gettleman did.  Kimberley Martin of YahooSports.com:

 

So how do you replace a two-time Super Bowl champion with limited mobility and subpar athleticism?

 

Easy.

 

Draft a younger replica who not only resembles Manning, possesses decent arm strength, good mobility but also was trained by Eli and Peyton Manning’s former college coach.

 

“It’s a wonderful thing when need and value match,” Gettleman said of Jones. “He is just perfect for us. … He’s the right kid for us.”

 

Competitive. Gritty. Smart.

 

Those were the adjectives Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur used to deflect questions about Jones’ lack of production at Duke, where last season he completed 60.5 percent of his passes and threw for 2,674 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

 

“When you watch him play, you just can’t look at the raw numbers and say this guy can do it or can’t do it,” Shurmur said, not-so-subtly referring to the 38 drops by Jones’ college receivers. “There are reasons a ball is complete or not complete.”

 

Inexplicably, it took only a few series of Senior Bowl play in January for Gettleman to determine that Jones was The Guy. “He walked out there and I saw a professional quarterback,” the GM said. “After the three series that I watched, I saw a professional quarterback.

 

“I was in full-bloom love.”

 

For what it’s worth, the DB like RYAN FINLEY of North Carolina State just as much. 

 

And this:

 

Alex Myers

@AlexMyers3

 I’ll be happy to be wrong, but it’s hard for me to have confidence in a Duke QB who went 17-36 for 145 yards and a pick-six in a 59-7 loss to Wake Forest.

 

 

WASHINGTON

Mel Kiper, Jr. at ESPN.com is among those declaring the Redskins as “winners” in the first round:

 

Washington Redskins

The picks: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State (No. 15); Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State (No. 26)

 

The board fell perfectly for the Redskins at No. 15. There have been rumblings that they wanted to trade up to get Haskins — maybe even as high as the top five — but he fell right into their lap in the middle of Round 1. With Alex Smith’s future uncertain, Washington had to get its quarterback of the future in this draft.

 

Haskins is the most accurate passer in this class, and he’s a natural touch thrower. He’s going to sit in the pocket and drop dimes. He’s raw — he started only one season at Ohio State — but he could be a star, and he was No. 7 overall on my board. Now we’re going to get Haskins and the Redskins vs. Daniel Jones and the Giants in the NFC East for years to come. And can you believe Haskins is the first Big Ten quarterback to be drafted in the first round since Kerry Collins in 1995?

 

Washington then traded back into the first round, surrendering the No. 46 pick and a second-round pick in 2020, to get Sweat, one of the best pass-rushers in this class. He was ranked No. 12 on my board. Though I don’t always love these kinds of trades, this isn’t too much to give up for a prospect like Sweat. I like what Washington did on Day 1.

 

This note:

 

@JacCollinsworth

Dwayne Haskins is 1st big ten QB to go in round one since Kerry Collins. That was 1995.

 

Now, we can think of three Big Ten quarterbacks who probably rank among the top 10 QBs of the last 20 years, maybe top 5.  TOM BRADY, DREW BREES and RUSSELL WILSON just weren’t drafted in the first round.

 

 

Not everyone in D.C. is enamored of the pick, partly because it was front office driven.  Rick Snider of The Fan:

 

In the end, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder was given no other choice. He needed a quarterback to market a team whose fan base is being devoured by a black hole that has left FedEx Field nearly empty.

 

No matter the timing was bad for a rookie passer. What with the Redskins opening next fall against four 2018 playoff teams in the first five weeks. With coach Jay Gruden openly saying it would be hard for someone like Dwayne Haskins with little college experience to make an impact in the NFL. Indeed, Gruden must have been looking at departing plane schedules and U-Haul rates after hearing Snyder’s decision.

 

Oh wait, it was a group decision. That is, unless Haskins fails and everyone points fingers.

 

Maybe it’s wrong to not expect much from Haskins. He’s a decent prospect. It’s just the Redskins could have taken needed edge rusher Brian Burns, who went one pick later to Carolina. They could have slid down for an extra second rounder and used it to gain Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen while drafting a needed receiver.

 

But no, Snyder needed his rookie quarterback. This feels so familiar because it has yet to work.

 

Redskins fans seem divided. But, many don’t like the pick and that’s not putting people in seats this fall. Washington possessed several options, but nothing ever tops a quarterback for the team owner.

 

To summarize the Redskins quarterback: Alex Smith is supposed to be recovering so well the team chose his successor. Colt McCoy is recovering from a third surgery and won’t be ready in the offseason. Case Keenum doesn’t know the offense yet. And Haskins is surely the starter sometime this season no matter what.

 

Maybe Gruden holds off on Haskins for a game or two to prove he’s still the coach, which will be of little solace when gone on Dec. 30.

 

But, the coach has his quarterback force fed to him no matter few receiver options. Indeed, the Redskins ride behind running back Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson this fall, not the quarterback so why pick a passer now?

 

Good luck to Haskins – he’s going to need it.

 

According to plugged-in Dianna Russini of ESPN.com there were those in the Redskins building who think like Dave Gettleman:

 

@diannaESPN

The Redskins are not only in disagreement about whether to go quarterback with their top pick but which quarterback to select. While we know by now that Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder are fixated on Dwayne Haskins, there is a case being pled for Duke QB Daniel Jones per sources

 

NFC SOUTH

 

TAMPA BAY

The Buccaneers fell in love with LB DEVIN WHITE, and here’s why according to his coach at LSU:

 

Greg Auman

 

@gregauman

LSU coach Ed Orgeron on new Bucs linebacker Devin White: “Devin will be the rock of the football team, because he has integrity and he has character. He’s one of the most loved players in LSU history. Everybody loves him. I believe the Bucs got them a game-changer.”

 

NFC WEST

 

SEATTLE

Assuming there is gold in the fourth round, the Seahawks did good.  Mel Kiper, Jr.:

 

Seattle Seahawks

The pick: L.J. Collier, DE, TCU (No. 29)

 

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter pointed out, Seattle came into the day with two first-round picks but not much capital after that. After trading back twice, GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll will now have nine picks, including four fourth-rounders. And after dealing away Frank Clark, they got a capable edge rushing replacement in Collier, who fits Seattle’s scheme and plays with tremendous energy.

 

AFC WEST

 

KANSAS CITY

WR TYREEK HILL got audio taped with his girlfriend, and the media, correctly, settles on “disturbing” to describe the contents.  Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

The statement issued, but likely not written, by Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill on Thursday said everything that it predictably would have said, carefully omitting anything that addresses whether his three-year-old child suffered an injury, or how the injury happened. Many nevertheless thought that ended the situation.

 

And it has now become clear that the situation is only just beginning.

 

KCTV has obtained audio of a conversation between Hill and Crystal Espinal, the mother of their son. Espinal created the audio as an “insurance policy” that she gave to a friend. It was “passed around” before landing at KCTV.

 

The audio is compelling. And troubling.

 

“He is terrified of you,” Espinal says. “And you say that he respects you, but it’s not respect.”

 

Hill says, “He respects me.”

 

“It’s terrify,” she says, “he’s terrified of you.”

 

“You need to be terrified of me, too, bitch,” Hill says. “That’s why you can’t keep a f–king man.”

 

Hill previously pleaded guilty to choking and punching Espinal while she was pregnant with the child.

 

The audio makes it clear that Espinal had previously been covering for Hill.

 

“I didn’t do nothing,” Hill insists during the discussion about the injury suffered by Hill’s son.

 

“Then why does [he] say, ‘Daddy did it’?” Espinal says.” Why does he say, ‘Daddy did it?’ Why does [he] say, ‘Daddy did it’?”

 

“I don’t know,” Hill says. “He says Daddy does a lot of things.”

 

“Like what?” Espinal says. “A three-year-old’s not gonna lie about what happened to his arm.”

 

Someone clearly has been lying about what happened to the boy’s arm. And it’s clear that other things have happened; on the audio, Espinal says that Hill punches the boy in the chest when the boy is crying. She also says that the boy has told investigators, “Daddy punches me.”

 

The audio is difficult to listen to, and it confirms exactly what many suspected on Wednesday, when the prosecutor announced that he believes a crime was committed, but that it could not be proven who did it. This audio potentially changes everything, for the authorities, for the league, and for the Chiefs — who if they do what they did with Kareem Hunt could be cutting ties with Tyreek Hill, soon.

 

The Chiefs have acted quickly, before they gave  the malevolent Hill $20 million, per Florio:

 

The story of draft day came roughly an hour before the draft started.

 

Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, one of the best players in the league who not long ago was on the brink of a new contract that perhaps would have paid him upwards of $20 million per year, will no longer be participating in offseason workouts.

 

G.M. Brett Veach told reporters in a late-night, end-of-round-one press conference that, in light of the audio that emerged on Thursday evening of Hill and Crystal Espinal discussing the events that led to their three-year-old son suffering a broken arm, Hill will not be taking part in any team activities.

 

“We were deeply disturbed by what we heard, we were deeply concerned,” Veach told reporters. “We decided that at this time and for the foreseeable future, Tyreek Hill will not take part in any team activities. We are going to gather more information, we’re going to evaluate this information, and we will make the right decision regarding Tyreek Hill.”

 

Barring evidence that the audio was doctored or falsified in any way, the right decision — the only decision — is to permanently sever ties with Tyreek Hill.

 

And the NFL should suspend him quickly so that no other team creates ties with Hill.

 

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

In late November, the Chiefs abruptly released running back Kareem Hunt after video emerged of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in the hallway of a Cleveland hotel. Currently, the Chiefs have yet to release receiver Tyreek Hill after audio emerged of Hill threatening the mother of his three-year-old child and apparently admitting to breaking the boy’s arm.

 

Several reasons exist for the differences in treatment. First, although Hunt is good (he led the league in rushing in 2017), Hill is better. Much better. He’s perhaps the best receiver in the NFL, given what he can do with the ball and what he does to a defense, which has no choice but to cover every inch of the field (especially with a quarterback who can put the ball anywhere on the field).

 

Second, unless the Chiefs are certain that Hill will be banished by the league, the Chiefs have to worry about the man who drafted Hill giving him safe harbor in Cleveland. Browns G.M. John Dorsey already has signed Hunt, and adding Hill to a passing game that features Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, and Baker Mayfield could make the Browns into a dynasty.

 

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Chiefs cut Hunt because he’d lied to them. He said he didn’t do anything, and the video showed that he did. Hill didn’t lie to the Chiefs because, per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Chiefs did not interview Hill regarding the child-abuse investigation.

 

The statement issued by Hill on Thursday includes an explanation from his lawyers that Hill met with law enforcement, did not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, and answered all questions. Given that the prosecutor opted not to charge Hill or anyone else due to a lack of evidence regarding the identity of the person who injured Hill’s child, it’s safe to say that Hill denied doing so.

 

If Hill had said the same thing to the Chiefs, the audio would have become proof that Hill lied to the team. Which would have made it even harder for the Chiefs to not take quick and decisive action.

 

That said, the Chiefs didn’t refrain from talking to Hill in order to avoid giving him an opportunity to lie. The NFL quickly intervened in the Hill case, and at that point the Chiefs deferred to the league office.

 

Although these factors may explain the differences between the ultra-swift action taken against Hunt and the slower pace (relatively speaking) of the Hill case, the Chiefs still need to cut Hill now, absent credible evidence that the compelling and disturbing audio that surfaced Thursday evening was in some way falsified or doctored.

 

 

THE RAIDERS

Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock made Clemson DE CLELIN FARRELL the fourth overall pick ahead of some other prospects held in higher regard by the “experts.”  Jim Trotter of NFL.com:

 

Mike Mayock’s phone was steadily ringing and buzzing long before the 2019 NFL Draft kicked off Thursday night, only it had nothing to do with potential trade offers for the Raiders, who owned a league-high three first-round picks, including the fourth choice overall.

 

These calls were from fellow general managers who wanted to offer not only words of support and encouragement as Mayock embarked on his first draft as a general manager, but also a bit of advice: namely, enjoy the moment.

 

“One of the guys said it’s the closest you can get to playing again, and he was kind of right,” Mayock recalled when the round was over. “I had more nerves, (more) butterflies than I had had in years. That’s why I got back into it.”

 

The adrenaline rush was matched only by the satisfaction of what Mayock and coach Jon Gruden deemed a job well done. The pair used the fourth pick on Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell, the 24th pick on Alabama running back Josh Jacobs and the 27th on Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram. All are expected to be “foundational” pieces in the rebuilding of a once-proud franchise that has had only one winning season and no playoff wins over the past 16 years.

 

“Whether you want to admit it, or people like it or not, we’re building our team,” said Gruden. “We need building blocks. We have some in place, and we needed these three first-rounders to come in here and inherit that responsibility. That’s a tough job. This franchise is moving to Las Vegas (in 2020). It’s very, very challenging. You’ve got to have a lot of maturity, and we wanted guys that weren’t only great football players and talents, but guys who could handle the circumstances of being frontline players, leaders, and also having a lot of maturity to handle the move of the franchise. It’s a tough league to play in to begin with, so we did a lot of work on their character. Mayock and I truly believe that’s the winning edge in all the great players that we’ve been around.”

 

There was a lot of speculation about what the Raiders would do with their draft capital. Would they seek to move up from No. 4 and make a play for quarterback Kyler Murray, who went first overall to the Cardinals? Would they seek to jump to No. 2 to take defensive end Nick Bosa, who went to the 49ers in that spot? Would they trade down to pick up even more picks to help rebuild and reshape the roster?

 

In the end, they stood pat, though it was not without some scrutiny after their selection of Ferrell. One personnel man said he was “stunned” at the pick, because most personnel people had Kentucky defensive end Josh Allen rated higher than Ferrell, who was projected to go in the middle of the round at best. But the Raiders liked the fact that Ferrell is more of a true end than Allen. He lined up full-time with a hand on the ground, something that Allen rarely did, and they believe he provides more of a physical presence at the point of attack.

 

That’s critical, because the Raiders’ defense was a sieve last season. It finished with a league-low 13 sacks while allowing a league-high 29.2 points per game. Over the past two seasons, Ferrell led the ACC with 21 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss. He also tied for fourth with five forced fumbles.

 

“In the division we play in, against the offenses we play against, in some cases, a guy like Ferrell can play either side of the line of scrimmage and can (move) inside,” Mayock said. “That was important for (defensive coordinator) Paul Guenther.”

 

Versatility was a key trait the Raiders were looking for in their picks. For instance, consider Jacobs.”If you’re going to play for Jon Gruden as a running back, you’ve got to pass-protect and you’ve got to catch the footballs, and this is a three-down back,” Mayock said. “He’s explosive, he’s tough. We’ve watched him pass-protect, and he’s got really good natural hands.”

 

Of Abram, Mayock said: “He can play down on the slot, he can play back on the post. With Lamarcus Joyner, also, who we added in free agency, we’re excited about our ability to have some flexibility on the back end, with Karl Joseph, also.”

 

The evening went smoothly for the Raiders, who had conversations with other clubs about possible trades, though none ever reached the point of being serious. They had to wait only 45 minutes to make their first pick, then 2 hours and eight minutes before making their second selection. The Abram choice came 22 minutes after that.

 

When the round was over, Mayock and Gruden addressed the media in the team’s meeting room. Mayock wore a button-down shirt that was open at the collar, with a black Raiders cap pulled low on his forehead. He was jovial at times, intense at others.

 

“It was a frickin’ blast,” Mayock said in summation.

 

Gruden was more subdued, at times staring out blankly while Mayock held court. But the $100 million coach lit up when discussing what his hand-picked executive brought to the process and the organization.

 

“He was fired up,” Gruden said. “He did great. Mayock has energized the building. He has energized me. Our franchise will benefit from not only tonight but the next two days (of the draft) and into the future.”

 

No one knows what the future will hold, but the two men charged with leading the organization have clear visions of what type of players they want: talented, high-character, versatile, passionate. Many of their pre-draft interviews with players never mentioned football. They wanted to know who the players were as people. “What makes them tick,” said Mayock.

 

Each of the selections has dealt with significant hardship, whether it was Ferrell, one of nine children, losing a parent as a child, or Jacobs being homeless as a teenager. The Raiders wanted to know how they dealt with adversity, and what role it played in shaping their character.

 

“Anybody who has been around here for the last four months knows how we have talked about foundation players,” Mayock said. “Jon and I have talked about that literally from the first day I got here. We define foundation as talent and character, passion for the game. That kind of drove this draft. I know sometimes you want sexy and you want to move around and up and down and back and trades, and all the rest. But at the end of the day we got the guys we wanted. … I told them you basically have one obligation as being part of a first-round pick of our team, and that’s leadership. I think that’s what all three are going to bring.”

 

In calling the drafting of Ferrell “head-scratching”, Mel Kiper, Jr. omits Mayock and calls all motivations as coming from Gruden.

 

Oakland Raiders

The picks: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson (No. 4); Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama (No. 24); Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State (No. 27)

 

Let’s just focus on Oakland’s first pick as the head-scratcher. Ferrell is a reach at No. 4. He is a good, solid player who had 27 career sacks in college. Can he be a great player? Based on the player I’ve studied and where he landed on my board, his ceiling is lower than edge rushers such as Josh Allen, Rashan Gary and Montez Sweat. This is reaaalllly high for a guy who was ranked No. 25 on my final Big Board.

 

Now, this is Jon Gruden not overthinking value. If he likes a player, he’s going to get him and not worry about what guys like me have to say. And we know the Raiders, who had a league-low 13 total sacks last season, needed an edge rusher. But this is the very definition of a head-scratcher in terms of value.

 

As for Jacobs and Abram, I like those selections much better. We knew Gruden was a prime candidate to take Jacobs, the best running back in this class, and we knew Oakland had a huge need at safety. Jacobs could be in line for a ton of touches as a rookie, and I expect Abram to be an immediate starter.

 

More from Frank Schwab:

 

The Raiders started the night with a haymaker, taking Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall. You won’t find many mock drafts that had Ferrell anywhere near No. 4. He was usually projected to go near the middle of the first round. Ferrell is a good player, a productive two-way end from a great Clemson team. But it seemed like a reach, and a pick looking at a safe, high floor rather than a large upside. Maybe the Raiders couldn’t find a partner to trade down, and had to take the player they liked best. Ferrell will certainly be compared going forward to other defenders like Ed Oliver and Josh Allen, who Oakland passed.

 

Then came the running back.

 

Drafting a running back in the first round is an old-school strategy, and Gruden has never shied away from being old school. Alabama running back Josh Jacobs was the first (and only) back taken in the first round, at No. 24. That’s a pick obtained in the Mack trade. The Raiders needed a back, with Marshawn Lynch reportedly retiring. Jacobs was clearly the best running back prospect in this class. He should be productive. But for a 4-12 team with a lot of needs, it seemed smarter to invest elsewhere.

 

The Raiders’ next pick, which came from the Cowboys for Cooper, was hard-hitting Mississippi safety Johnathan Abram. Most teams aren’t as high anymore on safeties like Abram, whose best work comes near the line of scrimmage. Another old-school pick. Abram is more than just a thumping safety; he can cover and has great athleticism. He seems like the type of football-first player Gruden and GM Mike Mayock would like. He should also be productive. But it’s a pick that probably would have seemed like more of a fit during Gruden’s first time as a head coach in the NFL years ago.

 

“I don’t care where people ranked him. Clelin Ferrell for us is a foundation player,” Mayock said on NFL Network after the first round. “He’s a building block. As is Jacobs. As is Abram. And their football character’s off the chart. And we also think that their football-playing ability’s off the charts.”

 

“We’re trying to tell our locker room what Jon Gruden and I believe in. And it’s physicality and it’s toughness and it’s a passion for the game. It’s high football IQ. That’s what we want to be all about. Those three picks were really important to both Jon and I. I think we sent a message, and I think we’re really excited about the players we’re getting.”

 

This is what Gruden got from what will be an enormously important first round in his second Raiders tenure: a defensive end who he probably reached on; a running back in a league that rarely drafts running backs in the first round anymore; and a strong safety.

 

Does that draft haul make the Mack and Cooper trades worth it? Probably not. Though we’ll see what the Raiders do with the Bears’ first-round pick next year (Oakland also has a sixth-round pick from Chicago this year and the Bears’ 2020 third-round pick, too). But if Gruden is going to turn things around in Oakland, that trio he drafted Thursday night has to be a big part of the rebuild. And we were reminded on Thursday that Gruden is going to do things his way. That means his old-school methods will be put to the test.

 

 

AFC NORTH

 

BALTIMORE

Mel Kiper, Jr. loves what the Ravens did:

 

Baltimore Ravens

The pick: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (No. 25)

 

Baltimore secured the draft’s best receiver, and it added extra picks by trading down three spots with Philadelphia. That’s a win for new GM Eric DeCosta. Brown will make Lamar Jackson’s life easier this season.

 

As the DB sees it, the big question is whether or not QB LAMAR JACKSON is a good enough passer to take advantage of having such a gifted receiver.

 

 

CINCINNATI

Frank Schwab of YahooSports.com:

 

When the Cincinnati Bengals went on the clock with the 11th pick, they had two quarterbacks they could have realistically picked. Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock were considered first-round prospects. Haskins might have had a slight bump too, for the Ohio State connection.

 

Instead, the Bengals not only showed some faith in Dalton, they helped him out.

 

The Bengals made an unexciting but prudent move, taking Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williiams with the 11th pick. Williams, a safe and solid prospect, will help fix an offensive line that has been a problem for a couple seasons.

 

The Bengals could draft a quarterback in the final six rounds of the draft (maybe even Lock, who fell out of the first round), but it’s less likely they get one who will threaten Dalton right away. A quarterback at No. 11 would have effectively started the countdown clock on Dalton’s time as Bengals quarterback. Now he has some more time, and a new tackle to help him out.

 

 

 

PITTSBURGH

The Steelers fell head over heels in love with Michigan LB DEVIN BUSH – enough to move up 10 spots in the first round in a non-Steelers like move.  Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

During his pre-draft press conference this week, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said that the team had “less urgent” needs as a result of free agency and that he was hoping to draft players who wouldn’t be needed on the field immediately.

 

In the grand history of pre-draft press conferences being overstuffed with hot air, it took almost no time for the Steelers to make a move that flew in the face of those words. The team traded their second-round pick and a 2020 third-rounder to move from 20th to 10th in order to select linebacker Devin Bush.

 

The move fills a need that the team has had since Ryan Shazier‘s spinal injury and Colbert called Bush a “unique football player” who wasn’t going to be around if they didn’t make a big move.

 

“As an inside linebacker, his game is really predicated on what is needed to play the position in modern-day NFL football,” Colbert said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He cannot only play the run he has exceptional cover abilities. We’re very, very excited to be able to move up and get a young player, a young man, like Devin Bush.”

 

The last time the Steelers made a jump like that to take a defensive player in the first round, they took safety Troy Polamalu. Colbert would love to see this deal work out anywhere close to as well as that one.

 

Mel Kiper, Jr. approves:

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

The pick: Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan (No. 10)

 

My pal Louis Riddick called Bush pound-for-pound the best player in this draft. Though I won’t quite go that far, I love this fit, and I love Pittsburgh being aggressive in getting its guy, trading the Nos. 20 and 52 picks plus a third-round pick in next year’s draft to get the sideline-to-sideline linebacker. Bush is going to slot in at the weakest spot on the Steelers’ roster, as the team hasn’t been able to replace the production of Ryan Shazier.

 

AFC SOUTH

 

HOUSTON

OL TYTUS HOWARD arrives in Houston as a suspect pick, per Mel Kiper, Jr.:

 

Houston Texans

The pick: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State (No. 23)

 

I get that Andre Dillard had just been picked, but there were better offensive linemen available on my board. Howard was my eighth-ranked offensive tackle, and I ranked him No. 70 overall. That’s a third-round grade. Jawaan Taylor was still there. Same with Cody Ford. Howard is a work in progress with some upside. But he’s not a first-round prospect.

 

If Houston loved Howard, could they have made a deal with Washington or the Giants who would move up shortly thereafter – and acquired Howard at closer to his perceived value.

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS

Frank Schwab of YahooSports.com thinks the Colts have been passive in 2019:

 

 As was the case in free agency, the Colts don’t appear in a big hurry this offseason.

 

General manager Chris Ballard is coming off a great 2018 offseason, and has obviously earned some benefit of the doubt. But if you thought the Colts would invest heavily this offseason after last year’s playoff berth, especially with a ton of cap room, it hasn’t happened.

 

The Colts were fairly quiet in free agency, given that they had the most cap space in the NFL, and they won’t have a first-round rookie this season, either. They traded out of the first round, sending the 26th overall pick to the Washington Redskins for No. 46 and a 2020 second-round pick. That’s a fine trade as far as value goes, but a player like Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat (who the Redskins took at No. 26) is a better bet to have an impact right now than whoever the Colts take 46th overall.

 

The Colts are doing things their way, at their pace. They won’t rush the process, even if they found themselves way ahead of schedule last season. That might ultimately be the right approach. But not if you’re impatient for the Colts to be a contender this season.

 

AFC EAST

 

NEW ENGLAND

Ed Werder notes:

 

Updating @MikeReiss note: AFC East teams drafting to pressure Tom Brady inside. The three most disruptive DTs in the draft land in the AFC East, with Quinnen Williams (Alabama/Jets-No. 3), Ed Oliver (Houston/Bills-No. 9). Christian Wilkins (Clemson/Dolphins-No. 13)

 

 

NEW YORK JETS

When you just sit there and pick the obvious guy, you can get praised.  Frank Schwab of YahooSports.com:

 

New York Jets: The Jets just sat tight at No. 3 and got a player many consider to be the best in the draft.

 

They were in a good spot. The Cardinals picked quarterback Kyler Murray, a position the Jets don’t need. The 49ers picked Nick Bosa, a perfectly fine pick. But Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams might be the best player in the draft, and the Jets could just sit tight and take him.

 

After some big misses early in the draft in recent years, the Jets hit a home run with safety Jamal Adams in 2017, quarterback Sam Darnold flashed some big-time skills in 2018 and the Jets might have picked the most talented player in the class on Thursday. That’s how you start to turn a franchise around.

 

 

THIS AND THAT

 

 

LOOKING AT ROUND 2

Steve Muench of Scouts, Inc. writing at ESPN.com offers a Mock Draft of the names we might see come off the board tonight.  Having traded their QB named Ryan, and having signed a temporary fill-in named Ryan, the Dolphins will draft a rookie named Ryan – per Muench.

 

With the first round of the 2019 NFL draft and all its surprises in the books, let’s take a look at how Round 2 should play out if every team drafts based on best fit.

 

33. Arizona Cardinals

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Free-agent signing Robert Alford was released by Atlanta following a disappointing season. Williams is a good fit for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s press scheme and a good value here.

 

34. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ)

Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan

The Colts signed Justin Houston, but that shouldn’t stop them from continuing to upgrade a pass rush that tied for 19th in the NFL with 38 sacks last year. Winovich is a twitchy pass-rusher with an array of pass-rush moves.

 

35. Oakland Raiders

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Corner is a top-three need for the Raiders and Murphy is too good a value to pass over at this point in the draft.

 

36. San Francisco 49ers

Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

San Francisco was the only team that didn’t have a wide receiver with 500 or more receiving yards in 2018, and Samuel is the best receiver on the board.

 

37. Seattle Seahawks (from NYG)

Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

Shaquill Griffin took over Richard Sherman’s left corner spot and struggled at times last year. Ya-Sin is a perfect fit for Seattle’s scheme, and he’s capable of competing for a starting role as a rookie.

 

38. Jacksonville Jaguars

Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

The Jaguars made right tackle Jermey Parnell a cap casualty, and Ford is a nasty run-blocker who projects as a rookie starter.

 

39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Ideally, one of the three corners that has come off the board in this mock falls to the Buccaneers, but Adderley is a good value here instead. A Tampa Bay defense that ranked 26th in passing yards allowed per game started five different players at safety last year.

 

40. Buffalo Bills

Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

The Bills ranked 31st in passing yards per game last year and they released Charles Clay. Adding Smith gives young quarterback Josh Allen a playmaker over the middle.

 

41. Denver Broncos

Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

There was some speculation that the Broncos would take Lock in the first round. They get him in the second round in this scenario, and he could push 34-year old Joe Flacco for the starting job sooner than later.

 

42. Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

John Ross hasn’t lived up to expectations, and Brown has the skill set to push him for the No. 3 role.

 

43. Detroit Lions

Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt

Detroit has a No. 1 corner in Darius Slay, but it’s unclear who will start opposite him.

 

44. Green Bay Packers

Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Thirty-year-old right tackle Bryan Bulaga has played in all 16 games of a season just twice in his eight-year career. Taylor is the No. 10 overall player on our board, making him a steal if he slides this far.

 

45. Los Angeles Rams (from ATL)

Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M

The Rams didn’t pick up John Sullivan’s option, and McCoy is a good value at this point in the draft.

 

46. Indianapolis Colts (from WSH)

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

The Colts signed Devin Funchess this offseason, but it’s a one-year deal and they need depth. Arcega-Whiteside has the potential to develop into an excellent complement to T.Y. Hilton, and he has outstanding football character.

 

47. Carolina Panthers

DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Adding Metcalf gives the Panthers a big deep threat who makes it tough to stack the box in an effort to slow running back Christian McCaffrey, and helps create space for receiver DJ Moore.

 

48. Miami Dolphins

Ryan Finley, QB, NC State

The Dolphins traded Ryan Tannehill to the Titans, and 36-year-old free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the long-term answer.

 

49. Cleveland Browns

Justin Layne, CB, Michigan St.

Denzel Ward is a shutdown corner when he’s healthy, but he suffered two concussions at the end of season. Terrance Mitchell missed eight games with a broken wrist and T.J. Carrie is at his best lining up over the slot. Layne would be a big help.

 

50. Minnesota Vikings

Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State

Dalvin Cook fantasy owners will likely hate this pick, but the Vikings need to add depth behind him. Sanders is a good value at this point.

 

51. Tennessee Titans

Connor McGovern, G, Penn State

The Titans could take a receiver here, but they need a player who can compete for the starting right guard spot and McGovern fits the bill. He’s also versatile enough to play center.

 

52. Denver Broncos (from PIT)

Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Justin Simmons enters a contract year and Darian Stewart was a cap casualty. Rapp has dropped this far because he didn’t run well, but his instincts, athletic ability and ball skills make him a good fit for Denver’s new scheme.

 

53. Philadelphia Eagles (from BAL)

Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

No Philadelphia corner started more than nine games last year, and the Eagles finished the season ranked 30th in passing yards allowed per game.

 

54. Houston Texans (from SEA)

Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

Right tackle Seantrel Henderson missed the final 15 games with broken ankle last year, and hasn’t played in all 16 games of a season since his rookie season of 2014. The Texans got a left tackle in the first, and they get a right tackle in the second in this scenario.

 

55. Houston Texans

Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB, Kentucky

The Texans finished 2018 ranked 28th in passing yards allowed per game. Houston signed Bradley Roby to just a one-year deal and Johnathan Joseph just turned 35.

 

56. New England Patriots (from CHI)

Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech

The Patriots signed Michael Bennett, but Trey Flowers and Adrian Clayborn departed via free agency. Ferguson is the best available defensive end.

 

57. Philadelphia Eagles

Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M

Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles remain unsigned. The Eagles traded for Jordan Howard, but he’s in a contract year and Williams would be an excellent complement.

 

58. Dallas Cowboys

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

Gardner-Johnson is a versatile defensive back capable of pushing for the nickelback role as a rookie, and developing into a starting safety in time.

 

59. Indianapolis Colts

Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

The Colts should be looking to add depth behind Margus Hunt and Denico Autry. Jones is an ascending talent who had his best season in 2018.

 

60. Los Angeles Chargers

Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois

The Chargers need a right tackle to push Sam Tevi for the starting job, and Scharping fits the bill.

 

61. Kansas City Chiefs

Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State Campbell is an excellent value at this point. Andy Reid will find creative ways to make the most of his considerable talent and skill set.

 

62. New Orleans Saints

Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi St.

Max Unger retired, and Jenkins projects as plug-and-play starter at center.

 

63. Kansas City Chiefs (from LAR)

Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

Safety Eric Berry was a cap casualty, fellow safety Eric Murray was traded and corner Steve Nelson signed with Pittsburgh. The Chiefs did bring in Bashaud Breeland, but on just a one-year deal. Thornhill is a versatile defensive back who could play corner or safety depending upon need.

 

64. New England Patriots

Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M | Highlights

Rob Gronkowski retired, and Dwayne Allen signed with Miami. Free-agent signing Austin Seferian-Jenkins has yet to play in all 16 games of a season, so Sternberger could have a decent role right away.

 

This on the same subject from Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

Round 1 of the 2019 NFL draft ended with plenty of talent still available, including five players still in the green room. Now we have some thoughts on the names you’ll hear during Round 2 on Friday night,

 

Here’s our best guess at what Round 2 will look like:

 

33. Cardinals: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida.

34. Colts: A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi.

35. Raiders: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri.

36. 49ers: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma.

37. Seahawks: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU.

38. Jaguars: Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech.

39. Buccaneers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington.

40. Bills: Erik McCoy, OG, Texas A&M.

41. Broncos: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi.

42. Bengals: Irv Smith, TE, Alabama.

43. Lions: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi.

44. Packers: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina.

45. Rams: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida.

46. Colts: Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky.

47. Panthers: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State.

48. Dolphins: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama.

49. Browns: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware.

50. Vikings: Rock Ya Sin, CB, Temple.

51. Titans: Dalton Risner, G, Kansas State.

52. Broncos: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia.

53. Eagles: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida.

54. Texans: Elgton Jenkins, OL, Mississippi State.

55. Texans: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt.

56. Patriots: Germaine Pratt, LB, North Carolina State

57. Eagles: Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston.

58. Cowboys: Damien Harris, RB, Alabama.

59. Colts: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame.

60. Chargers: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson.

61. Chiefs: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan.

62. Saints: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M.

63. Chiefs: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington.

64. Patriots: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson.