Re-Drafting the 2019 NFL Draft
If only NFL teams could know what the future holds.
If teams could peer into the future, draft mistakes like Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel would never happen. Similarly, executives wouldn't miss out on guys like Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes.
With this concept in mind, we're going to redraft the 2019 first round as if teams could peer a full year into the future. This means they know how the season will unfold, where they'll select in 2020 and what sort of moves are made in free agency.
Of course, knowing the future would cause a paradox that would undo much of what actually transpired—but we're not here to think fourth dimensionally.
What has happened will happen, and teams will use that knowledge in this fictional redraft. This is draft order as it was on opening night, so pre-draft trades are included, but draft-day trades are not.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Original Selection: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
There's no reason for the Arizona Cardinals to deviate from their original selection here. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner became the 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and he did so with a relatively underwhelming supporting cast.
To win the award, the Oklahoma product finished with 3,722 passing yards, 544 rushing yards, 24 total touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His numbers should be quite a bit better in his second year. The Cardinals got him a dominant No. 1 receiver by trading for DeAndre Hopkins.
"You see what Lamar [Jackson] was in that last playoff game [of 2018], the previous season walking off the field, to what he is now," Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said, via the team's official website. "We'd love to take that next step with a young quarterback and build it around him and have that type of success."
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
Original Selection: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
Like the Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers have no reason to change their original choice. Former Ohio State edge-rusher Nick Bosa proved to be as good as advertised, ultimately winning Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Bosa, who amassed 47 tackles and nine sacks in the regular season, helped his team reach Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers fell short of lifting the Lombardi, but Bosa helped them get within striking distance.
What might be most impressive is that Bosa never seemed to hit the rookie ceiling. He put plenty of his pass-rushing moves on film, but opponents still couldn't completely contain him. He had five tackles, a sack, a pass defended and a forced fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
The offseason trade of fellow defensive lineman DeForest Buckner is all the more reason to keep Bosa as the pick.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
Original Selection: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The New York Jets are the first team to choose differently than they did initially. This is because original selection Quinnen Williams isn't the best fit for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' system.
"Quinnen is handicapped, in my opinion, by the defense. You put him in Philly, he's Fletcher Cox," former NFL edge-rusher Chuck Smith said, per Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com.
Williams was largely used as a space-eating tackle during his rookie campaign. What Williams' aggressive scheme needs—and what the Jets lack—is a premier edge-rusher. Therefore, they'll scoop up former Kentucky sack-artist Josh Allen here.
While Allen wasn't quite as dominant as Bosa, he's a fine consolation prize. He finished his inaugural campaign with 10.5 sacks.
4. Las Vegas Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Original Selection: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
Murray nearly lost out on Offensive Rookie of the Year because of Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. One could easily argue that the Alabama product was more deserving of the award, as he finished with 1,150 rushing yards, 166 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
Jacobs should be the Raiders' franchise running back for the foreseeable future.
"I feel like he's going to be one of the best backs in this league for a long time," Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II said at the Pro Bowl.
There's no chance the Raiders would land Jacobs with their next pick at 24. So instead of taking former Clemson edge-rusher Clelin Ferrell—who had an underwhelming rookie campaign—they pull the trigger on Jacobs early.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Original Selection: Devin White, LB, LSU
There's nothing wrong with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' original selection of former LSU linebacker Devin White. He finished 2019 with 91 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three passes defended, an interception and three forced fumbles in 13 games, and he should become a perennial Pro Bowler.
However, the Buccaneers now know that they'll land Tom Brady in free agency. Protecting the soon-to-be 43-year-old has to be priority No. 1.
So instead, Tampa will scoop up former Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams. While a shoulder injury cost Williams his rookie campaign with the Cincinnati Bengals, he should be ready to start in 2020. That's when Brady and the Buccaneers will need him.
Armed with the 14th pick in the 2020 draft, the Buccaneers could miss out on their tackle of choice. They take that possibility out of the equation by grabbing one a year early.
6. New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Original Selection: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Has New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones proved that he's a franchise signal-caller? No. However, he showed enough promise in his rookie campaign to make the Giants feel pretty good about taking him again in the redraft.
Jones finished with 3,027 passing yards, 279 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns in 13 games (12 starts).
While the Giants will have a shot at a signal-caller in the 2020 draft, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert are even less of a sure thing than Jones appears to be one year into his career. Veterans like Cam Newton and Jameis Winston could be free-agent options, but New York should be just fine keeping what it has.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Devin White, LB, LSU
Original Selection: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
With Allen off the board, the Jaguars instead look to strengthen their linebacker corps with the seventh overall selection. They do that by scooping up White, whom the Buccaneers passed on to get themselves an offensive tackle.
Fast, physical and adept at coverage, White would make for a fine addition alongside Myles Jack at the second level.
In reality, the Jaguars addressed their linebacker corps by adding Joe Schobert in free agency this year. While Schobert is a solid linebacker, he also cost Jacksonville nearly $54 million for a five-year contract. By drafting White here, they can free up that money to, say, give pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue the long-term deal he probably won't get from the Jaguars in real life.
8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Original Selection: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
The Detroit Lions originally took former Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson in this spot. While his upside is intriguing, Hockenson was limited to 12 games and seven starts. He flashed at times but finished his rookie season with just 367 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 32 catches.
Instead of banking on potential, the Lions scoop up former Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver here instead. Cornerback would also make a lot of sense—as the Lions finished the 2019 season ranked last in passing yards allowed—but Oliver is a rare talent who can anchor Detroit's defensive front.
As a rookie, Oliver amassed 43 tackles, five sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble with the Buffalo Bills—who originally drafted him one spot later. He would be a key building block for Detroit, which will have a shot at a premier corner with the third overall pick in the 2020 draft.
9. Buffalo Bills: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Original Selection: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
With Oliver off the board, the Bills instead address the second level of their defense. They grab former Michigan linebacker Devin Bush—he originally went to the Pittsburgh Steelers a spot later after they traded up.
Bush appeared in all 16 games, amassing 109 tackles, a sack, two interceptions and a forced fumble for the Steelers.
The Bills could be tempted to draft one of the many premier wide receivers to come out of the 2019 draft, but as we know, they traded for a proven one in 2020 free agency instead. Adding Stefon Diggs gives quarterback Josh Allen the No. 1 target he has lacked in his career.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Original Selection: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan (by Pittsburgh, post-trade)
Originally, the Denver Broncos drafted former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in the second round. They won't wait that long this time around because Lock probably wouldn't last until Day 2.
Though he only made five starts, Lock passed for 1,020 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes and, most importantly, posted a 4-1 record. Presumably, he'll be Denver's starting quarterback moving forward.
"Don't like to show our hand, but I think it's unrealistic to say we're going in a different direction," president of football operations John Elway said, per Aric DiLalla of the team's official website.
This pick was originally traded to the Steelers, who grabbed Bush. While the Broncos might be able to move down and still get Lock, Bush is off the board, so the deal doesn't happen.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi
Original Selection: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Cincinnati Bengals know that they're going to end up with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft—and that they'll presumably take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with that pick. Therefore, it makes sense to draft a piece who can help their future quarterback now.
With Williams off the board, the Bengals look instead to get themselves a future No. 1 receiver. In a redraft, they'll grab former Mississippi wideout A.J. Brown.
Operating in the run-oriented Tennessee Titans offense, Brown caught 52 passes for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season.
12. Green Bay Packers: DK Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
Original Selection: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan
Interestingly, Brown's college teammate DK Metcalf will go one pick later here in the redraft. The Green Bay Packers originally took Michigan edge-rusher Rashan Gary. However, he spent most of the season sitting behind Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith.
With the Smiths filling Green Bay's pass-rushing needs, the Packers will instead add a complement to wideout Davante Adams. They'll take Metcalf, who caught 58 passes for 900 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie.
Big, fast and physical, Metcalf has the skill set of a future No. 1 receiver. For the Packers, he'll be a guy who makes opposing defenses pay for paying too much attention to Adams. With two high-end receivers on the perimeter and Aaron Rodgers under center, the Packers passing attack would be nearly complete.
13. Miami Dolphins: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Original Selection: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Like the Bengals, the Miami Dolphins appear likely to take a quarterback in the 2020 draft. According to Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller, it's likely to be Herbert.
"This isn't what I would do, Dolphins fans, but it is what I'm hearing will happen," Miller tweeted.
While Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was a fine rookie addition for Miami, in the redraft, the Dolphins take a receiver who can maximize the impact of Herbert's huge arm. They take former Oklahoma wideout Marquise Brown.
Brown, who caught 46 passes for 584 yards and seven scores as a rookie, is a burner who could stretch the field for Miami and take advantage of the coverage commanded by DeVante Parker. This would help ensure that Miami's next quarterback is set up for success.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
Original Selection: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
With the 14th pick in the 2019 draft, the Atlanta Falcons took former Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom. They're doing the same in the redraft, even though Lindstrom was limited by injury as a rookie.
He spent most of the season on injured reserve but did make five starts, and he showed a lot of promise in those starts. According to Pro Football Focus, Lindstrom didn't allow a sack and committed just a single penalty. Atlanta also went undefeated after Lindstrom's return from injured reserve.
Taking Lindstrom in the redraft makes sense, even with his limited audition. Atlanta isn't likely to find a guard with as much upside with the 16th pick in 2020—and with running back Todd Gurley now in the fold, solidifying the interior line is important.
15. Washington Redskins: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
Original Selection: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Originally, the Washington Redskins drafted former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins here. However, there's a chance that Haskins won't even be the team's starter in 2020. New head coach Ron Rivera traded for Kyle Allen, who started for Rivera with the Carolina Panthers last season.
Instead, Washington will take Carolina's 2019 first-round pick, pass-rusher Brian Burns. The Florida State product was a solid situational pass-rusher for the Panthers as a rookie, finishing with 25 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Scooping up Burns here will give Washington maximum flexibility with the second overall pick in 2020. The team can still take Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young—as many expect to happen—but with Burns in the fold, trading down or taking a quarterback will also be premium options.
16. Carolina Panthers: Sean Murphy-Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
Original Selection: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
With Burns off the board, the Panthers instead address a future need by grabbing former Central Michigan cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. Originally selected 39th overall by the Buccaneers, Murphy-Bunting goes to Carolina 23 picks earlier here.
Why? Because Murphy-Bunting was fantastic as a rookie, finishing with 44 tackles, eight passes defended, three interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble. He appeared in all 16 games for the Buccaneers and made 10 starts.
Murphy-Bunting was named to the Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie Team for his efforts.
Grabbing Murphy-Bunting helps the Panthers prepare for the departure of No. 1 cornerback James Bradberry, who signed with the Giants in 2020 free agency.
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland): Maxx Crosby, Edge, Eastern Michigan
Original Selection: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
In the redraft, the Giants will take the sort of impact defender they didn't get with the 17th pick the first time around. While he showed some promise, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence did not have a major effect on New York's defense. He finished with 38 tackles and 2.5 sacks—good numbers for a rookie, but not overwhelming.
Here, the Giants will use the pick they netted in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade to take pass-rusher Maxx Crosby.
Originally a fourth-round pick of the Las Vegas Raiders, Crosby finished his rookie campaign with 47 tackles and 10.0 sacks. The Giants finished the 2019 season with 36 sacks. Of those, 10 came from Markus Golden, who remains unsigned in free agency.
The Giants snatch up Crosby here as a replacement for Golden and to be a long-term presence on the defensive front.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
Original Selection: C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
In real life, the Minnesota Vikings used the 18th pick on former NC State center Garrett Bradbury—and they'll do the same here.
Bradbury proved to be a valuable tool in the running game. As an athletic run-blocker, he was able to get out in front and work in open space. For Minnesota's run-first offense, he is a solid fit, and he showed plenty of promise.
Bradbury played 97 percent of the offensive snaps, too, according to Football Outsiders. It was the highest figure on the team. The Vikings should be happy that they were able to land a reliable starter at a position of need. There's little reason for them to shy away from the same selection the second time around.
19. Tennessee Titans: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Original Selection: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Rookie wideout A.J. Brown became the focal point of the Tennessee Titans' passing attack in 2019. He's off the board here, however, leaving the Titans to go in a different direction. This time around, they scoop up former South Carolina pass-catcher Deebo Samuel.
Originally selected with the 36th pick in the draft by the 49ers, the 6'0", 215-pound wideout caught 57 passes for 802 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie, and while his numbers weren't quite as impressive as Brown's (52 catches for 1,051 yards and eight scores), Samuel wasn't a first option the way that Brown was.
Jimmy Garoppolo's go-to target in San Francisco was tight end George Kittle. As the top option in Tennessee, his numbers might have been far more impressive.
Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons was the original selection here. While he showed plenty of promise in limited action—32 tackles and two sacks in nine games—Tennessee needs to find its No. 1 wideout while its playoff window remains open.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Original Selection: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa (by Denver, post-trade)
Williams falls significantly in the redraft, given his limited rookie production (28 tackles, 2.5 sacks). However, the result puts him in an enviable position with a team looking to rebound in the AFC North.
The Steelers failed to make the postseason in 2019, but that was largely due to the absence of starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. With Roethlisberger healthy, Pittsburgh should be right back in the postseason picture.
Adding Williams here would help the Steelers get there. While defensive tackle wasn't a major need in 2019, it's one now. The Steelers lost standout Javon Hargrave to the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency. By adding Williams, Pittsburgh would ensure that its defensive front doesn't take a step back in 2020.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Original Selection: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland (by Green Bay, post-trade)
In real life, the Seattle Seahawks traded down twice from the 21 spot, eventually moving this selection out of the first round entirely. With their second Round 1 pick—acquired in the Frank Clark trade—the Seahawks drafted former TCU defensive end L.J. Collier.
Collier had virtually no impact on the Seahawks defense as a rookie—a mere three tackles in 11 appearances—and that was a problem. Seattle's pass rush was a disaster in 2019, producing a paltry 28 sacks as a team.
With Collier not making an impact and Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah disappointing, Seattle needs to grab an edge-rusher.
Here, Seattle takes a chance on Ferrell. While the former Clemson star was outplayed by Maxx Crosby in the Raiders defense, he did show flashes. For example, he had a dominant 2.5-sack performance in a Week 10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. He finished his inaugural NFL campaign with 4.5 sacks—jut one fewer than Collier, Ansah and Clowney had combined.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia
Original Selection: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State (by Philadelphia, post-trade)
Though he didn't have the big-time production of guys like A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf, wideout Marquise Brown was still an important piece of the Baltimore Ravens offense. He gave the team a legitimate deep threat, which gave Lamar Jackson a quick-strike option and also opened up Baltimore's first-ranked rushing attack.
Unfortunately, Brown is off the board already, so Baltimore will have to look elsewhere for its speed. It finds it in the form of former Georgia burner Mecole Hardman.
Hardman possesses legitimate 4.33 speed, and he showed it as a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs. He caught 26 passes for 538 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, averaging 20.7 yards per reception. Hardman averaged a full eight yards per reception more in 2019 than what Brown averaged.
23. Houston Texans: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Original Selection: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
With the Titans passing on Simmons, the rival Houston Texans go ahead and pull the trigger here. The former Mississippi State star will add some more punch to the Texans interior pass rush while also providing a potential replacement for nose tackle D.J. Reader.
Reader signed with the Bengals in free agency, leaving a 6'3", 347-pound hole on Houston's defensive interior.
Offensive tackle could also be a consideration here. However, Houston seems happy with the deal it made to acquire Laremy Tunsil—even though Tunsil still doesn't have a long-term deal. Instead, the Texans make a move to help their 28th-ranked defense (388.3 yards per game allowed).
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn
Original Selection: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
With Jacobs already secured, the Raiders turn to their 25th-ranked pass defense with the 24th overall pick. Here, they take former Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean, who was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the third round.
Dean only started five games as a rookie, but he showed off tremendous ball skills. He had 17 passes defensed while logging two interceptions and 21 tackles. His ability to make a play on the ball would make him an asset on the back end of Las Vegas' defense.
The Raiders pulled out of their free-agent deal with cornerback Eli Apple, so there is still need for depth at the position. While this is roughly two rounds higher than when Dean was originally drafted, the Raiders go ahead and grab that depth here.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
Original Selection: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (by Baltimore, post-trade)
The Eagles need a wide receiver. They struggled to field healthy ones late in 2019, they lost Nelson Agholor in free agency, and there's a chance they trade away Alshon Jeffery in the near future.
"It didn't take long before Howie Roseman realized that he had made a mistake when he guaranteed Alshon Jeffery's salary for 2020 just before last season," wrote Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The Eagles general manager began actively shopping Jeffery about a month later, NFL sources told the Inquirer."
By scooping up former Ohio State wideout Terry McLaurin here, the Eagles give themselves a premier perimeter receiver and a potential No. 1 target for Carson Wentz. Though he played with Haskins, Colt McCoy and Case Keenum in 2019, McLaurin finished his rookie season with 58 receptions, 919 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games.
With Wentz under center, McLaurin could be a perennial Pro Bowler.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Original Selection: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State (by Washington, post-trade)
Originally, Maryland safety Darnell Savage was off the board by pick No. 26. However, with no draft-day trades in this re-draft, the Packers aren't in position to get him, so he's here for the Indianapolis Colts' taking.
Clayton Geathers was underwhelming in 2019, and he remains unsigned as a free agent. While Malik Hooker hasn't lived up to his status as a top-15 draft pick, pairing Savage with Hooker would at least give the Colts a promising young tandem on the back end.
This is an attractive option, as the Colts finished 2019 ranked just 23rd in pass defense (248.9 yards per game allowed).
Savage started 14 games for the Packers as a rookie, amassing 55 tackles, five passes defended, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State
Original Selection: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
The Raiders have now missed out on Crosby and Ferrell. Considering they finished 2019 with just 32 sacks with both of them on the roster, adding a pass-rusher here is imperative. Fortunately, Mississippi State's Montez Sweat is still on the board.
Sweat actually had a strong rookie campaign for Washington, though it was overshadowed by the team's woeful season. He racked up seven sacks and 50 tackles while starting all 16 games.
The 6'6" and 262-pound Sweat should be a natural fit for Paul Guenther's 4-3 base defense. Based purely on statistical production, he could have a greater early impact than Ferrell did. Missing out on Crosby hurts, but Las Vegas still exits the first round with a franchise running back, an edge-rusher and a promising young pass defender—much like it did in reality.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Original Selection: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
Philip Rivers is out as the Los Angeles Chargers' quarterback, but that doesn't mean that L.A. should ignore its offensive line. The Chargers signed Bryan Bulaga and traded for guard Trai Turner in free agency, but they traded left tackle Russell Okung to get him.
Jawaan Taylor made starts at both right and left tackle in college, as did Bulaga. Adding Taylor gives the Chargers a pair of premier options to compete on the left side, with the loser kicking back to right tackle.
Or, in the event Los Angeles lands the left-handed Tagovailoa in the 2020 draft, the situation could be reversed.
Adding Taylor at least gives the Chargers some flexibility at the tackle spot. If they pass on a quarterback at six this year, they can grab a premier tackle prospect. If they take a signal-caller, they're not going to have that chance.
Original selection Jerry Tillery, who had just 17 tackles and two sacks as a rookie, isn't even a consideration here.
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City): Chase Winovich, Edge, Michigan
Original Selection: L.J. Collier, DE, TCU
Would the Seahawks really double down on edge-rushers in the first round? They should, as the lack of a consistent pass rush was their biggest defensive weakness in 2019.
With Metcalf off the board, receiver could also be a consideration here. However, an early run at the position has left the Seahawks with limited options. Instead, they pull the trigger on Chase Winovich, who was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round.
Winovich was fantastic as a situational rusher with the Patriots in 2019. Though he played less than 29 percent of the defensive snaps, according to Football Outsiders, he still finished with 26 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
By drafting both Ferrell and Winovich, the Seahawks could have their pass-rushing duo in place for the foreseeable future.
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Original Selection: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia (by Giants, post-trade)
As previously mentioned, adding wideout DK Metcalf would make the Packers passing attack nearly complete. Adding playmaking tight end Noah Fant will get it there.
Fant was uneven as a rookie in Denver, but his ability to create mismatches was on full display. He appeared in 16 games and caught 40 passes for 562 yards and three touchdowns. In Week 9, he had a catch-and-run of 75 yards for a touchdown.
The Packers parted with Jimmy Graham in this offseason, and he was more of a red-zone target than a breakaway threat anyway. Fant can turn underneath routes into big gains. With Adams and Metcalf on the outside, that would be a massive asset for Green Bay.
Green Bay originally traded this pick to move up and get Savage. He's off the board here, though, making Fant a sensible selection.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Eric McCoy, C, Texas A&M
Original Selection: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington (by Atlanta, post-trade)
The Los Angeles Rams re-signed left tackle Andrew Whitworth to a new three-year deal this offseason, leaving the interior offensive line as the team's biggest question mark.
Last offseason, the Rams parted with center John Sullivan and guard Rodger Saffold III, which proved to be a mistake. L.A. struggled to solidify the interior of its line, and that was one reason why the offense struggled.
Adding the former Texas A&M center would help improve the Rams offensive line and provide some stability for the foreseeable future. This pick was originally traded to the Falcons, but with a Pro Bowl-caliber center on the board, the Rams cannot pass him up.
32. New England Patriots: Gardner Minshew II, QB, Washington State
Original Selection: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
New England replacing a Pro Bowl quarterback with a sixth-round surprise? Where have we heard this story before?
The Patriots lost quarterback Tom Brady to the Buccaneers in free agency this offseason. They have second-year man Jarrett Stidham and journeyman Brian Hoyer on the roster, but there's a chance that neither is the long-term answer at quarterback. Washington State gunslinger Gardner Minshew—originally a sixth-round pick of the Jaguars—could be.
Is Minshew fully proven? Of course not. However, he showed a lot of potential in his first campaign, passing for 3,271 yards with 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Perhaps more importantly for New England, he showed the mentality of a winner.
"I think the biggest thing for me is that I helped my team win, and I did that better than any [first-round] rookie quarterback, so that gets me fired up," Minshew said, per Garry Smits of the Florida Times-Union.
Minshew's brash personality may not mesh with the Patriot Way, but his pocket presence, accuracy and the boulder-sized chip on his shoulder certainly do.
*All contract information via Spotrac.