Kyler Murray goes No. 1 overall but to which team?
There were seven major trades in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and countless others discussed among the teams. Given the depth of this year’s draft, there could be double that number in Nashville as teams look to move up and down the board to land their next superstar pass rusher, quarterback or potential All-Pro.
So who is going where? Here’s a stab at how the draft could wind up shaking out if general managers start wheeling and dealing.
*Pick involved in proposed trade
1. Oakland Raiders (from Arizona)* — Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Jon Gruden loves Kyler. The Raiders need a star to build around next to Antonio Brown and nobody in Oakland is convinced Derek Carr is going to be there when it comes time to head over to Vegas. With extra picks in the first round this year and next, Oakland sends two first-rounders this year and two third-rounders to move up the three spots to get their guy.
2. San Francisco 49ers — Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
John Lynch has no issues taking the player that some think is the best player in the draft. While he may field some calls for this pick, no compensation rises to the level of a trade and facing off against a trio of top quarterbacks in the division alone is enough to help the 49ers boost their pass rush.
3. New York Jets — Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The team missed out on Anthony Barr in free agency (sorta) but find a longer-term replacement in the Wildcats star who can do just about everything. Yes the team will still go all-in with Sam Darnold this draft but Gang Green has needed a pass rusher for years and finally get one.
4. Arizona Cardinals (from Oakland)* — Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The Kyler Murray chatter works well to net Arizona extra picks this year while instilling confidence in Josh Rosen, who is still a good fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s system and the QB of the future in the desert. The team did upgrade both of their lines in free agency but can add a potential superstar in the middle in Williams.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (from Tampa Bay)* — Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Andy Dalton will be a stop-gap measure in 2019 for the Bengals, who go all-in with a future first-rounder plus No. 11 overall to trade up and draft the Buckeye signal-caller as their guy. The new offensive staff has to love how imposing Haskins is and how much that will help in holding up in a physical division.
6. New York Giants — Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Yes they have to find a quarterback of the future and have plenty of other needs but the front office loves the guys up front. Sweat has tested out of the building and checks a lot of boxes for a team that needs rookies to contribute early and often.
7. Atlanta Falcons (from Jacksonville)* — Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
GM Thomas Dimitroff loves to swing for the fences if needed and does so in landing a player who was a darling of just about every scout, fan and commentator in college. Oliver is somebody who will fit in perfectly in Dan Quinn’s system and can boost his pass rush numbers lining up next to Grady Jarrett.
8. Detroit Lions — T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Handing out that big contract to Trey Flowers means edge rusher isn’t as pressing a need as it once was. Getting the most out of an aging Matthew Stafford is however and Hockenson has a chance to be his new best friend while complementing recently signed Jesse James too.
9. Buffalo Bills — Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
It’s no secret that the Bills need to get more of a pass rush and things just haven’t worked out like the team has hoped with Trent Murphy. The front office can find interior linemen later in the draft but it’s hard to pass up on Gary, who can head to Buffalo and make an early impact at a number of spots.
10. Denver Broncos — Devin White, LB, LSU
Vic Fangio helped draft Roquan Smith last year and has to like what he sees in a fellow SEC linebacker who can go sideline-to-sideline with the best of them. Between White and Von Miller, the second level of the Broncos defense will cause tons of havoc for opposing offenses.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Cincinnati)* — Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Kwon Alexander left town and the team has done what they can to fill holes at linebacker but Bush could be the guy of the future to build around. His skill set keeps him on the field every down and his ability to burst into the backfield will more than make up for his smaller size.
12. Carolina Panthers (from Green Bay)* — Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Panthers can use their second-rounder (47th overall) to move up a few spots and grab a new mainstay along the offensive line in Dillard. There are some concerns about his run blocking but Carolina has no qualms given how good he is as a pass-blocking tackle who can help protect Cam Newton for years to come.
13. Miami Dolphins — Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
There will be plenty of noise about Miami taking a QB but that appears to be a 2020 decision with most of the top targets long gone by this point. Instead Brian Flores can help re-stock the pass rush by grabbing the very polished Ferrell as the first guy to build around up front on defense.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Atlanta)* — Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The Jags smartly trade back and net extra picks from Atlanta while still finding a new go-to tight end for big free-agent acquisition Nick Foles. The former Eagle won a Super Bowl connecting regularly with Zach Ertz and finds a younger version in Fant.
15. Washington Redskins — D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Washington keeps going back to the well in trying to find a No. 1 receiver through the draft. Metcalf has all the measurables you want and can instantly surge to the top of the lackluster depth chart in D.C.
16. Green Bay Packers (from Carolina)* — Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Randall Cobb is out but the team can move back a few spots and still land a capable replacement in the electric Brown. The Lisfranc surgery will scare some teams off but he’s such a dynamic talent that he’s simply too good to pass up and team with Aaron Rodgers.
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland) — Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Everybody knows Dave Gettleman loves to build his teams through the trenches and does so some more with the addition of Lawrence. This is not a pick that will delight Giants fans but the Tigers defender has off-the-charts athleticism and could be a young force in New York.
18. Minnesota Vikings — Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The coaching staff continues to emphasize establishing the run and can do so with the selection of Williams, who can likely start at guard right away for the team or even slot in at right tackle.
19. Houston Texans (from Tennessee)* — Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida
Houston does indeed have a problem and have had it for a decade-plus in trying to protect their quarterback. They flip spots with the home-draft Titans for one of their second-rounders to secure Taylor, who will provide an immediate boost up front.
20. Indianapolis Colts (from Pittsburgh)* — Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Wilkins falling in the draft some is all the impetus that GM Chris Ballard needs to go up and get him using all that extra ammunition (such as the Jets’ second-rounder this year). The Clemson product will instantly help an already improving Colts defense and continue to boost athleticism in the front seven.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (from Seattle)* — Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
Extending Philip Rivers’ shelf life is a top priority for the Chargers and Ford is a huge upgrade at right tackle for a group primed to make one of those elusive Super Bowl runs.
22. Kansas City Chiefs (from Baltimore)* — Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
Finding defensive replacements is perhaps more pressing for a team that came ever so close to making the Super Bowl but with Mitch Morse leaving, the ability to go up and get Bradbury is just too tempting. The Ravens’ new-look front office will be a willing trade partner at this spot too if they can pick up one of KC’s extra second-rounders.
23. Tennessee Titans (from Houston)* — Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The team did add Cameron Wake this offseason but he’s 37 and probably not long for a franchise that still needs pass rush help given all they lost through retirement and free agency. Burns’ upside is tremendous and he could form a heck of a long-term tandem with Harold Landry.
24. Arizona Cardinals (from Chicago, via Oakland)* — Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
Kliff Kingsbury knows better than most how good Risner is and his positional flexibility is bound to help boost one of the worst offensive lines in the league.
25. Philadelphia Eagles — Nasir Adderly, DB, Delaware
The Eagles’ secondary was ravaged by injuries last year so it will be no surprise to see the team go with some sort of corner or safety early in the draft. Adderly can line up in a number of different spots as a rookie before eventually taking over for Rodney McLeod.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers (from Indianapolis)* — Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Fans will clamor for an Antonio Brown replacement here but that’s not the concern of the front office. Murphy has a chance to turn into the top corner of this class and can help the team plan ahead with Joe Haden set to hit free agency next season.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas) — Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
This team has a ton of other needs but you can’t expect Jon Gruden to pass up a tight end like Smith, who can feast on the middle of the field with Antonio Brown taking the attention of defenses. With his quarterback of the future already in hand, this is another piece for the offense.
28. Seattle Seahawks (from Los Angeles Chargers)* — L.J. Collier, EDGE, TCU
Dropping back down in the first round is a rite of passage for the Seahawks, as is taking a chance on somebody lower on others draft boards. Collier has tremendous upside and a chance to become a building block opposite of Frank Clark.
29. Denver Broncos (from Kansas City via Baltimore)* — Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
The Ravens didn’t have a second-round pick this draft thanks to the Lamar Jackson trade a year ago and wind up moving back twice to pick up two additional top-70 selections while netting a future first from Denver. John Elway has proclaimed his love of Joe Flacco but ultimately understands he needs to plan for the future.
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans) — Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
The team picked up Adrian Amos through free agency and won’t stop re-tooling the secondary there. Josh Jones was only okay last season and they can upgrade with a more physical presence in Abram.
31. Los Angeles Rams — Erik McCoy, OL, Texas A&M
The NFC champions need a lot more help on the interior of the line and McCoy could slide right in and start at center or guard from the first game. They might be able to trade down and still get him but may not want to leave that to chance.
32. New England Patriots — Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
The team lost a lot of talent up front to free agency and while they’ve replaced some of it, more is needed. Tillery is such a unique prospect that Bill Belichick and company will have to love what he could become in the Pats system.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.