Any team can have one bad apple slip through the cracks, but Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com takes the Chiefs to task for having an orchard of them.
Clark Hunt has a problem.
He has an abuse problem. He has a domestic violence problem. He has a culture problem. He has a leadership problem.
It’s not the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s Hunt.
When it comes to the sordid, horrible, disgusting string of events that have haunted this franchise since Dec. 1, 2012 – when linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his 22-year old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then shot himself in the head in the team’s parking lot – to the present, when the Chiefs held a press conference Friday to introduce a recently-acquired player who was arrested for domestic violence in college (Frank Clark) one day after the chilling audio was released strongly implicating receiver Tryeek Hill in the extreme abuse of his 3-year-old child – look no further than the owner of the team.
On matters such as this, there is no “team.” There is no “Kansas City Chiefs.” There is one individual who pays everyone else and decides who stays and who goes, and when they get kicked out. In the last six-plus years, coaches and general managers and front office executives have come and gone. Hunt is the constant. He is the authority. And he has not come close to showing an ability to steward his franchise with a modicum of class or sensitivity when it comes to domestic violence and abuse.
Hunt oversaw the decision to play football one day after Belcher’s murder/suicide. He oversaw the drafting of Hill – a player many of his peers refused to include on their draft boards because of Hill’s sentencing for a heinous assault of his pregnant girlfriend, Crystal Espinal, in college, that police say included hitting her in the face, choking her and punching her in the stomach. Hunt oversaw the team’s inquiry into Kareem Hunt’s assault of a female last offseason and the subsequent decision to allow him to practice and play as normal as the NFL botched another “investigation” into the assault of a woman.
Hunt oversaw the decision to allow Hill to report for offseason work despite the ongoing investigation into his role in the assault of a 3-year old. Hunt oversaw the mealy-mouthed press releases pledging how “deeply disturbed” the organization is about all of this, while the authorities said they believed a crime was committed by one of the parents and removed this child from Hill’s custody. Hunt oversaw the decision to send Hill home indefinitely, but not release him, after audio was released on Thursday of the receiver making threats to Espinal and admitting to routinely punching that 3-year old and of a child saying “daddy did it” and despite Hill being denied even supervised visitation with his son.
When the District Attorney’s office announced it was re-opening its investigation of Hill following the release of those tapes, Hunt did nothing. He signed off on a press conference welcoming Clark, who was prosecuted on domestic violence charges in 2014, to Kansas City on Friday, but didn’t bother to sit up there and actually take any questions himself, allowing coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach to try to deflect inevitable questions about Hill’s situation. And then Hunt seemingly focused on the more important business of the NFL draft, and now another week begins with his franchise embroiled in an ongoing debacle.
One might think that a crime as extreme as what Belcher, a player with no history of prior violence, perpetrated would lead to take a stronger position on domestic abuse. One would expect that some tangible changes in the workplace would be enacted by those in charge, and that any inference of previous history of abuse might be a disqualifier for working for the Kansas City Chiefs. Perhaps, out of a calling of sorts, but, at the very least, for the sake of public relations and brand savviness.
Hunt, repeatedly, has opted to go in the opposite direction. It’s truly appalling when you think about it. A zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence would have been the expectation long before now, yet the Chiefs take as many character risks as any organization in football and it goes way beyond former general manager John Dorsey. It runs much deeper than that. No one could blame Hunt for what these men have done, but the fact it keeps happening in this locker room is beyond a coincidence now. Hunt’s franchise hasn’t shunned known abusers; it has embraced them and stood by them and been willing to pay them over and over again.
Sure, the owner eventually cut Kareem Hunt, but only after video of the star kicking a woman in the hallway outside of his apartment was released, and even then not merely for the act itself, but because “Kareem was not truthful” to Chiefs management about his actions, the owner said in a statement at the time. And not a thing changed since then. According to the league’s own media arm, Hunt was going to pull out his checkbook for a record-setting extension for Hill prior to him being investigated for another assault. And four months after releasing Hunt, the owner, desperate for pass rush, gave Clark, whose interactions with a female reporter on Twitter just two years ago drew national attention for all the wrong reasons, over $60M in guarantees at the very moment Hill’s actions were still being sorted out by the law. He couldn’t even bother to wait until there was closure or certainty with Hill.
This is what owners who are “deeply disturbed” about domestic violence and child abuse do? Really? In the aftermath of the Belcher’s grizzly acts, these are the lessons learned? This falls at Hunt’s desk. These are his calls to make. And he has failed. Miserably. Consistently.
Say what you want about the way the Ravens handled the Ray Rice situation overall (and the Ravens botched most of it, badly, including owner Steve Bisciotti’s press conference), but at the very least, in the aftermath of that video surfacing, the team has avoided players who have any known history of domestic abuse. In Baltimore, and several other franchises, in a post-Ray Rice NFL, it became much more difficult to bring such players into their building.
In Kansas City, despite a murder/suicide at the team facility, that is not the case. Once Hill is eventually released – even for Hunt, that seems inevitable by any measure – after being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List or whatever mechanism the NFL applies, Hunt and the league will move on.
I’m probably not the only one dismayed by how Roger Goodell and the NFL continue to address these matters, basically ignoring Hill’s situation over the weekend until after the draft, lest those distractions get in the way of that huge party in Nashville. We already know the NFL is adrift in trying to investigate and adjudicate these cases, from Greg Hardy to Ray Rice to Adrian Peterson to Josh Brown to Zeke Elliott to Kareem Hunt to Hill. So hiding behind the league office and waiting for Park Avenue to sort it out will do you no favors, and it’s not a salient excuse. And, I’m sorry, but TMZ isn’t going to secure video evidence of every high-profile NFL assault case, lest that be the threshold for real action.
So your guess is as good as mine as to where Hunt goes from here. Trying to enact some sort of tough talk or zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence even after Hill’s departure seems implausible, given the financial commitment he literally just made to Clark. Whenever he does take questions next – one would assume after Hill is released – selling anyone that the Chiefs are suddenly tough on abusers seems impossible to me. Taking known criminals off the draft board might be the very least they can do moving forward. Getting away from a win-at-all-costs mentality might make some sense as part of an inward-thinking reboot.
But save that “deeply disturbed” stuff. What’s deeply disturbing is how Hunt has responded to these issues since 2012. Actions speak louder than words in the face of repeated crisis. And Hunt’s recent silence is even more damning than the hollow words in his press release.
The DB admits that things don’t look good for Hill – but that is based solely on media reports including a tape of what may be Hill. Again, we’re not defending him. But in Hunt’s defense, he would feel pretty silly if he cut Hill loose today as the media would demand, only to find out that the tape was a fake.
STEVEN RUIZ’s DRAFT GRADES
Continuing our review of draft “grades” here are those of Steven Ruiz of USA Today:
The 2019 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror, but before we speed off into the dog days of the offseason, let’s look back at every team’s haul from over the weekend. We’re stacking each team’s draft class against one another, and ranking them one through 32. The rankings are based on three major factors:
NFL teams have all the resources in the world at their disposal when scouting a player, and even they have shown no ability to evaluate college prospects effectively with any consistency. The best way to bring in a good class is to make as many picks as possible.
2. Positional value
It doesn’t really matter how many draft picks a team hits on if it’s taking players at positions of lesser importance. Teams that focused on the premium positions — QB, WR, CB, Edge, OT — will get a more favorable evaluation than those that drafted running backs and linebackers. Or, in Tampa Bay’s case, a kicker … again.
3. Player evaluation
We don’t how these players will turn out in the pros, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make an educated guess based on what they put on film in their college careers.
Now, let’s get to the rankings…
1. Arizona Cardinals
PICKS: QB Kyler Murray, CB Byron Murphy, WR Andy Isabella, DE Zach Allen, WR Hakeem Butler, WR Keesean Johnson, C Lamont Gaillard, OT Joshua Miles, DE Michael Dogbe, TE Caleb Wilson
This is my favorite class of 2019 for two reasons: (1) The Cardinals brought in a ton of talent at the major positions, and (2) that Arizona didn’t draft a tight end and brought in three receivers to play alongside Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk means that we’re getting a full-fledged Air Raid offense from Kliff Kingsbury and not some watered down version adapted for the NFL.
2. Washington Redskins
PICKS: QB Dwayne Haskins, OLB Montez Sweat, WR Terry McLaurin, RB Bryce Love, G Wes Martin, C Ross Pierschbacher, OLB Cole Holcomb, WR Kelvin Harmon, CB Jimmy Moreland, OLB Jordan Brailford
The Redskins found a potential franchise quarterback, an edge rusher with top-10 talent, two receivers who could start in Year 1 and a game-breaking running back. Not a bad haul for Washington, which looked like it was ready to botch things based on pre-draft reports of discord between the front office and coaching staff.
3. Oakland Raiders
PICKS: DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs, S Johnathan Abram, CB Trayvon Mullen, DE Maxx Crosby, CB Isaiah Johnson, TE Foster Moreau, WR Hunter Renfrow, DE Quinton Bell
Despite a poor use of resources, the Raiders’ draft ranks high because they did bring in a lot of talented players. As many as five of their picks could be in the starting lineup come September. And a lot of the guys they brought in are good players; they just happened to reach for them.
4. Baltimore Ravens
PICKS: WR Marquise Brown, OLB Jaylon Ferguson, WR Miles Boykin, RB Justice Hill, G Ben Powers, DT Daylon Mack, QB Trace McSorley
This is the only team that got a perfect GPA for its picks during the first two days of the draft. And all three picks were for players at premium positions. Hollywood Brown is the star of the class, but Miles Boykin has the potential to develop into a true WR1.
5. New York Giants
PICKS: QB Daniel Jones, DT Dexter Lawrence, CB Deandre Baker, OLB Oshane Ximines, CB Julian Love, ILB Ryan Connelly, WR Darius Slayton, CB Corey Ballentine, OT George Asafo-Adjei, DT Christopher Slayton
The Giants bombed the first day of the draft but did get back on track in the later rounds. Julian Love is the best pick in the class and may end up having a better career than the corner New York took in Round 1, Deandre Baker.
6. New England Patriots
PICKS: WR N’Keal Harry, CB Joejuan Williams, DE Chase Winovich, RB Damien Harris, OT Yodny Cajuste, G Hjalte Froholdt, QB Jarrett Stidham, DT Byron Cowart, P Jake Bailey, CB Ken Webster
I’m not all that high on what the Patriots did over the weekend. I don’t hate any of the picks; but I don’t really love any of them, either. Except for Chase Winovich. That was a steal for a New England team that needs more production off the edge.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
PICKS: OLB Josh Allen, OT Jawaan Taylor, TE Josh Oliver, S Quincy Williams, RB Ryquell Armstead, QB Gardner Minshew, DT Dontavius Russell
Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell needed a good draft in the worst way. He came through with a great one. The highlights of the class are at the top, where the Jags came away with two players with top-10 talent.
8. Green Bay Packers
PICKS: DE Rashan Gary, S Darnell Savage, C/G Elgton Jenkins, TE Jace Sternberger, DE Kingsley Keke, CB Ka’dar Hollman, RB Dexter Williams, ILB Ty Summers
We gave the Rashan Gary pick a D on night one, but the Packers redeemed themselves with their next three picks. Darnell Savage makes plays all over the field, Elgton Jenkins is a versatile player and nasty block and Jace Sternberger is a perfect fit for Matt LaFleur’s system.
9. Indianapolis Colts
PICKS: CB Rock Ya-Sin, DE Ben Banogu, WR Parris Campbell, OLB Bobby Okereke, S Khari Willis, S Marvell Tell, ILB E.J. Speed, DE Gerri Green, OT Jackson Barton, C Javon Patterson
The Colts traded out of the first round and still ended up with four top prospects. I thought they reached for both Rock Ya-Sin and Parris Campbell, but both are good players who will contribute right away. Ben Banogu was the best pick in the class.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
PICKS: ILB Devin Bush, WR Diontae Johnson, CB Justin Layne, RB Benny Snell, TE Zach Gentry, OLB Sutton Smith, DT Isaiah Buggs, ILB Ulysses Gilbert, OT Derwin Gray
I’m not crazy about the trade-up for an off-the-ball linebacker, but Devin Bush fills a need created by Ryan Shazier’s injury. Diontae Johnson is an Antonio Brown clone, and Justin Layne is one of my favorite corners in this class. Don’t sleep on Sutton Smith, either. Sure, he’s undersized, but he racked up a ton of sacks in the MAC.
11. Tennessee Titans
PICKS: DT Jeffery Simmons, WR A.J. Brown, G Nate Davis, S Amani Hooker, OLB D’Andre Walker, ILB David Long
The Titans didn’t have a whole lot of picks to work with, but they still came away with quite the haul. Jeffery Simmons would have gone in the top-10 if not for an injury during the pre-draft process. More than a few pundits had A.J. Brown as the best receiver in the class. Amani Hooker will play a lot of snaps during his rookie season. The same can’t be said for Nate Davis, but he’ll contribute eventually,
12. Buffalo Bills
PICKS: DT Ed Oliver, G Cody Ford, RB Devin Singletary, TE Dawson Knox, OLB Vosean Joseph, S Jaquan Johnson, DE Darryl Johnson, TE Tommy Sweeney
So much value. Ed Oliver was a steal at pick No. 9. The same can be said for Cody Ford, whom Buffalo nabbed in the second. The Bills have been killing it this offseason.
13. Carolina Panthers
PICKS: DE Brian Burns, OT Greg Little, QB Will Grier, DE/OLB Christian Miller, RB Jordan Scarlett, OT Dennis Daley, WR Terry Godwin
The Will Grier pick was a head-scratcher, but I suppose Carolina got good value. I gave him a second-round grade before the draft. Before that pick, the Panthers nailed their first two. Brian Burns has all of the tools to develop into a top pass rusher, and the same could be said for the athletic Greg Little, who should compete for a starting job in camp.
14. Philadelphia Eagles
PICKS: OT Andre Dillard, RB Miles Sanders, WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, DE Shareef Miller, QB Clayton Thorson
The Eagles could have done without the Miles Sanders pick, but Andre Dillard is the best pass protector in the class and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside should have been a first-round pick. He’s known for boxing out smaller corners in the red zone, but he’s much more than a big body.
15. Los Angeles Chargers
PICKS: DT Jerry Tillery, S Nasir Adderley, OT Trey Pipkins, ILB Drue Tranquill, QB Easton Stick, OLB Emeke Egbule, DT Cortez Broughton
I gave the Chargers A’s for their first two picks. I’m not overly impressed with the rest of the work they did over the weekend, but that won’t matter if Jerry Tillery and Nasir Adderley are what I think they are.
16. Seattle Seahawks
PICKS: DE L.J. Collier, S Marquise Blair, WR D.K. Metcalf, OLB Cody Barton, WR Gary Jennings, G Phil Haynes, CB Ugo Amadi, ILB Ben Burr-Kirven, RB Travis Homer, DT Demarcus Christmas, WR John Ursua
Not gonna lie: It wasn’t looking great for Seattle after their first two picks — though both will be solid contributors — but then they landed D.K. Metcalf with the final pick of the second round before bringing in another underrated receiver prospect in Gary Jennings. The Seahawks needed to find Russell Wilson more pass catchers, and they did so.
17. San Francisco 49ers
PICKS: DE Nick Bosa, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Jalen Hurd, P Mitch Wishnowsky, OLB Dre Greenlaw, TE Kaden Smith, OT Justin Skule, CB Tim Harris
This class may have ranked a bit higher if they didn’t waste a pick on a punter. Nevertheless, the 49ers did well with their first two picks. Deebo Samuel, a YAC god, is going to eat in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and I had Joey Bosa as the best edge rusher (and worst tweeter) in the class.
18. Denver Broncos
PICKS: TE Noah Fant, OT Dalton Risner, QB Drew Lock, DT Dre’Mont Jones, OLB Justin Hollins, WR Juwan Winfree
I’m not nearly as impressed with the Broncos’ class as many other analysts seem to be. The Noah Fant pick was ‘meh,’ and I have Drew Lock as a bust. I do like the Dalton Risner and Dre’Mont Jones picks, however. Denver brought in some good players, just not enough at the major positions.
19. Chicago Bears
PICKS: RB David Montgomery, WR Riley Ridley, CB Duke Shelley, RB Kerrith White, CB Stephen Denmark
Low key one of my favorite hauls of the weekend. No, the Bears didn’t bring in any big names, but David Montgomery is going to play a lot early and only cost Chicago a third. Riley Ridley was one of the more undervalued receivers in the class, but the Georgia product is a professional route runner. And Duke Shelley was a steal in Round 6. I had the undersized, play-making corner in my top-50.
20. Minnesota Vikings
PICKS: C Garrett Bradbury, TE Irv Smith, RB Alexander Mattison, G Dru Samia, ILB Cameron Smith, DT Armon Watts, S Marcus Epps, OT Oli Udoh, CB Kris Boyd, WR Dillon Mitchell, WR Olabisi Johnson, LS Austin Cutting
I like a lot of the players the Vikings brought in — Garrett Bradbury and Irv Smith, in particular — but none of these picks really excite me. Minnesota reached for a center in the first round with a number of promising tackles on the board. Positional value matters.
21. New York Jets
PICKS: DT Quinnen Williams, OLB Jachai Polite, OT Chuma Edoga, TE Trevon Wesco, OLB Blake Cashman, CB Blessuan Austin
As a result of the Sam Darnold trade a year ago, the Jets did not have a lot of draft capital to work with, but they were efficient with the picks they did have. Quinnen Williams is the best defensive prospect in the class, and Jachai Polite was looking like a first-round talent before he tanked the pre-draft process. Though he claims a hamstring injury sabotaged him.
22. Cincinnati Bengals
PICKS: OT Jonah Williams, TE Drew Sample, OLB Germaine Pratt, QB Ryan Finley, DT Renell Wren, G Michael Jordan, RB Trayveon Williams, LB Deshaun Davis, RB Rodney Anderson, CB Jordan Brown
It started off with a bang with the Bengals landing the best offensive tackle (and biggest nerd) in this year’s draft. But then things went downhill quickly. Really, Cincinnati? A blocking tight end in the second round?
23. Los Angeles Rams
PICKS: S Taylor Rapp, RB Darrell Henderson, CB David Long, OT Bobby Evans, DT Greg Gaines, OT David Edwards, S Nick Scott, LB Dakota Allen
Pick-for-pick, one of my favorite classes this year. Taylor Rapp isn’t going to wow anyone with his testing numbers but he can ball. This was a dream landing spot for Darrell Henderson, who is the best zone runner in the class. And David Long should have gone at the end of the first round with his coverage skills.
24. New Orleans Saints
PICKS: C Erik McCoy, S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S Saquan Hampton, TE Alize Mack, LB Kaden Elliss
The Saints didn’t have a first-round pick but still came away with two players (Erik McCoy and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson) who had been mocked in the first round at various points during the pre-draft process. And both fill needs.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PICKS: ILB Devin White, CB Sean Bunting, CB Jamel Dean, S Mike Edwards, DE Anthony Nelson, K Matt Gay, WR Scott Miller, DT Terry Beckner Jr.
I don’t hate the Sean Bunting and Jamel Dean picks, but the Bucs are a team that does not seem to understand positional value. Taking a linebacker fifth-overall is inexcusable, and a few years after the Roberto Aguayo disaster, they went ahead and took another kicker. I don’t know what’s worse: the pick or GM Jason Licht’s defense of it…
“You’d like to see guys make big kicks in big moments, obviously. The kicker is a very important position. It’s one of the most important positions on the team.”
26. Cleveland Browns
PICKS: CB Greedy Williams, OLB Sione Takitaki, S Sheldrick Redwine, ILB Mack Wilson, K Austin Seibert, G Drew Forbes, CB Donnie Lewis
I’m still in shock the Browns ended up with Greedy Williams without trading up into the first round. The rest of this class, which includes a kicker, is underwhelming.
27. Atlanta Falcons
PICKS: G Chris Lindstrom, OT Kaleb McGary, CB Kendall Sheffield, DE John Cominskey, RB Qadree Ollison, CB Jordan Miller, WR Marcus Green
First the Falcons over-drafted a guard. Then they traded back into the first round to draft a raw tackle. It doesn’t matter what happened the rest of the weekend after those moves.
28. Detroit Lions
PICKS: TE T.J. Hockenson, LB Jahlani Tavai, S Will Harris, DE Austin Bryant, WR Travis Fulgham, RB Ty Johnson, CB Amani Oruwariye, TE Isaac Nauta, DT P.J. Johnson
Outside of Amani Oruwariye, the Lions got very little value out of any of their picks. Picking a tight end in the top-10 rarely, if ever, works out. Jahlani Tavai, a liability in pass coverage, was an even worse pick.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
PICKS: WR Mecole Hardman, S Juan Thornhill, DT Khalen Saunders, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Darwin Thompson, G Nick Allegretti
The Chiefs were never going to bring in a great class with only a handful of picks and none in the first round. But the Mecole Hardman and Juan Thornhill picks were winners in my book.
30. Houston Texans
PICKS: OT Tytus Howard, CB Lonnie Johnson, OT Max Scharping, TE Kahale Warring, DE Charles Omenihu, CB Xavier Crawford, RB Cullen Gillespie
The Texans spent their first two picks on superb athletes who don’t really know how to play football yet. They could turn out to be studs. Or they could bust. The Max Scharping picks is the saving grace of Houston’s class.
31. Miami Dolphins
PICKS: DT Christian Wilkins, G Michael Deiter, OLB Andrew Van Ginkel, OT Isaiah Prince, RB Chandler Cox, RB Myles Gaskin
Don’t feel too bad about this low ranking, Dolphins fans. Christian Wilkins and Michael Deiter are good players, you found a quarterback of the future for the low price of a second-round pick and you acquired future draft capital with some smart draft-day trades. Not a bad start to the rebuild.
32. Dallas Cowboys
PICKS: DT Trysten Hill, G Connor McGovern, RB Tony Pollard, CB Michael Jackson, DE Joe Jackson, S Donovan Wilson, RB Mike Weber, DE Jalen Jelks
Cowboys fans will say that Amari Cooper should be included in this class. Here’s the problem with that thinking: First-round picks are coveted because they can provide top talent at a low price. Cooper may be a top talent but he certainly won’t be cheap. I do like Trysten Hill as a prospect, but he’s not good enough to carry this class on his own.
How about an early 2020 Mock Draft from Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com?
The 2019 NFL Draft is in the books and to paraphrase Bill Belichick … we’re onto 2020. That’s right, less than 48 hours after UCLA tight end Caleb Wilson was announced as Mr. Irrelevant, it’s time to look ahead to next year’s draft class. This list will no doubt change a lot over the next 50 weeks, but consider this a good starting point with the college football season some four months away.
And also, this is important. A note about the draft order before you send your angry tweets and emails: It’s based off the current SportsLine projections, which came out Saturday. We started with projected win totals, made sure both conferences put six teams into the playoffs, then advanced the better team through each round. If you think we have your team picking too high, just take comfort in knowing this is the best projection we have this early in the process, and the final results are sure to differ.
1 -Miami Dolphins
Chase Young DE
OHIO STATE – SOPH – 6’5 / 265 LBS
The Dolphins didn’t address the position in the 2019 draft and Young, who played alongside Nick Bosa for three games last season, could be the next great Buckeyes edge rusher.
Walker Little T
STANFORD – SOPH – 6’7 / 313 LBS
It’s all about protecting Kyler Murray, the Cardinals’ second first-round quarterback in as many years.
3 – Oakland Raiders
Tua Tagovailoa QB
The Raiders are all in on Derek Carr in 2019 but if the team stumbles again, #TankingforTua will continue to be a thing.
4- Buffalo Bills
A.J. Epenesa DE
IOWA – SOPH – 6’5 / 277 LBS
The Bills had a great 2019 draft but didn’t take an edge rusher till Round 7. Epenesa playing alongside Ed Oliver would make Sean McDermott very happy.
5 – Cincinnati Bengals
Bryce Hall CB
VIRGINIA – JR – 6’1 / 200 LBS
Hall might’ve been a first-round cornerback if he came out in ’19 and he’ll only get better with experience. Plus, Hall adds secondary depth to a Bengals team that drafts CBs high every few years.
6 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Justin Herbert QB
OREGON – JR – 6’6 / 233 LBS
Nick Foles isn’t the long-term solution in Jacksonville and if they’re in position to draft Herbert that means the 2019 season was a bust. Herbert might’ve been the first player taken in this draft had he not returned to Oregon.
7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jerry Jeudy WR
ALABAMA – SOPH – 6’1 / 192 LBS
DeSean Jackson returned to Philly, but Jeudy has that type of playmaking ability. If the plan is to build around Jameis Winston, Bruce Arians should continue to get him weapons, especially after such a defense-heavy 2019 draft.
8 – Carolina Panthers
Grant Delpit S
LSU – SOPH – 6’3 / 203 LBS
The Panthers were favorites to land a playmaking safety in the ’19 draft. It didn’t happen, but they don’t let Delpit get away next year.
9 – Washington Redskins
CeeDee Lamb WR
OKLAHOMA – SOPH – 6’2 / 189 LBS
More weapons for Dwayne Haskins! Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon and now Lamb, who was unstoppable for Oklahoma last season. Washington could obviously go in another direction if Josh Doctson finally puts it together.
10 – New York Giants
Laviska Shenault Jr. WR
COLORADO – SOPH – 6’2 / 220 LBS
If Dave Gettleman has his way, Daniel Jones will be in Year 2 of his three-year plan to have the No. 6 pick in the 2019 draft to sit behind Eli Manning. But this is good news for Eli, who gets a big downfield target as New York tries to replace Odell Beckham.
11 – Detroit Lions
Kristian Fulton CB
LSU – JR – 6’0 / 192 LBS
Amani Oruwariye was thought to be a possible first-round pick, but he didn’t go off the board until Day 3. The Lions get their first-round talent in Fuller — plus, you can never have too many good defensive backs.
12 – Tennessee Titans
Julian Okwara DL
NOTRE DAME – JR – 6’5 / 241 LBS
The Titans find a bookend to 2018 second-rounder Harold Landry — this assumes, of course, that Marcus Mariota has a big season. Otherwise, Tennessee could be in the market for a quarterback.
13 – Atlanta Falcons
Raekwon Davis DT
ALABAMA – JR – 6’7 / 316 LBS
The Falcons reportedly loved Ed Oliver, who ended up in Buffalo. They land Davis, who doesn’t have Oliver’s athleticism, but may have been no worse than a second-round pick if he declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.
14 – San Francisco 49ers
Xavier McKinney DB
ALABAMA – SOPH – 6’1 / 198 LBS
The 49ers bolster their secondary after solidifying the defensive line with Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in 2019.
15 – Denver Broncos
Dylan Moses LB
ALABAMA – SOPH – 6’3 / 233 LBS
The Broncos let Brandon Marshall walk in free agency and traded out of the No. 10 pick with Devin Bush still on the board. They get their linebacker in ’20 with Dylan Moses, who was better than Mack Wilson last season.
16 – Houston Texans
Isaiah Simmons S
CLEMSON – SOPH – 6’2 / 230 LBS
Simmons is a safety/linebacker hybrid who looks like he could be a faster version of Kam Chancellor.
17 – Minnesota Vikings
Tee Higgins WR
CLEMSON – SOPH – 6’4 / 210 LBS
The Vikings got tight end Irv Smith Jr. in Round 2 of the ’19 draft and now they get one of the best wideouts in the 2020 class. With an improved O-line, Kirk Cousins is out of excuses.
18 – New York Jets
CJ Henderson DB
FLORIDA – SOPH – 6’1 / 191 LBS
The Jets didn’t draft a cornerback until late on Day 3 and Henderson would go even higher in the draft with a strong junior season.
19 – Dallas Cowboys
Albert Okwuegbunam TE
MISSOURI – SOPH – 6’5 / 255 LBS
Jason Witten is back but for how long? The Cowboys need to get younger and more athletic at tight end.
20 – Baltimore Ravens
Yetur Gross-Matos DE
PENN STATE – SOPH – 6’5 / 259 LBS
The Ravens lost Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith. Yes, they drafted Jaylon Ferguson in the third round but they need depth at defensive end.
21 – Green Bay Packers
Jake Fromm QB
GEORGIA – SOPH – 6’2 / 220 LBS
Fromm might be the best decision-maker in this class, but he doesn’t have the arm strength or athleticism of a Tua or Herbert. Plus, he could sit behind Rodgers for a season before taking over the job full-time.
22 – Seattle Seahawks
Jaylon Johnson DB
UTAH – SOPH – 6’0 / 190 LBS
The Seahawks got a playmaking safety in 2019 second-rounder Marquise Blair and now they get a first-round cornerback to add to the secondary.
23 – Indianapolis Colts
Derrick Brown DT
AUBURN – JR – 6’5 / 325 LBS
We loved the idea of the Colts taking Jerry Tillery — it didn’t happen; they traded down and he landed with the Chargers — but Brown allows them to wrong that right.
24 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Trey Adams OT
WASHINGTON – SR – 6’8 / 316 LBS
The team traded Marcus Gilbert and Alejandro Villenueva’s contract expires after the 2021 season. The Steelers could also target an edge rusher here since Bud Dupree is in the final year of his rookie deal.
25 –Philadelphia Eagles
Lorenzo Neal DT
PURDUE – JR – 6’3 / 315 LBS
The Eagles routinely dominate the line of scrimmage — in part because they’re able to rotate players and keep them fresh — and Neal adds depth and playmaking ability.
Round 1 – Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears)
Tyler Biadasz C
WISCONSIN – SOPH – 6’3 / 319 LBS
If Tua is the new franchise quarterback, it makes sense to protect him. Biadasz was a likely Day 2 pick, had he declared for the 2019 draft.
27 – Cleveland Browns
Andrew Thomas T
GEORGIA – SOPH – 6’5 / 320 LBS
This roster isn’t missing much. The Browns need a left tackle to protect Baker Mayfield and Andrew Thomas could be the final piece of the puzzle.
28 – Los Angeles Chargers
Henry Ruggs III WR
ALABAMA – SOPH – 6’0 / 183 LBS
Philip Rivers could play forever so why not keep getting him downfield weapons. Ruggs was overshadowed by Jeudy last season but he has a chance to be special.
29 – Los Angeles Rams
Anfernee Jennings ILB
ALABAMA – JR – 6’3 / 266 LBS
Jennings returned to Alabama for his senior season and it was probably the right move. The Rams get an edge rusher to potentially replace Dante Fowler, who is on a one-year deal.
30 – Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Etienne RB
CLEMSON – SOPH – 5’10 / 200 LBS
The Chiefs acquired Carlos Hyde and drafted Darwin Thompson in the seventh round, but Travis Etienne is a home run hitter who makes the Chiefs’ offense even more dangerous.
31 – New Orleans Saints
Curtis Weaver LB
BOISE STATE – SOPH – 6’3 / 266 LBS
Weaver has 20.5 sacks in just two seasons at Boise State and would give the Saints a bookend to 2018 first-rounder Marcus Davenport.
32 – New England Patriots
Paddy Fisher LB
NORTHWESTERN – SOPH – 6’4 / 241 LBS
Fisher had 116 tackles and four forced fumbles last season and if he continues to progress in 2019 he has a chance to sneak into the first round.