2019 NFL Draft: A handful of offseason moves have heavily impacted the NFL Draft


It’s not a stretch to claim that the 2019 NFL offseason has been the most entertaining offseason in the history of the league. From the Antonio Brown dramatics to the surprising trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland, the offseason so far has been nothing short of exciting – except if you’re a Giants fan.

The free agency period and the handful of trades over the past week have made serious impacts on how April’s draft will unfold. Ranging from quarterback needs being taken off the board to linebackers now being a necessity to quite a few teams in the first round, the draft has been heavily impacted over the actions stemming from the opening week of the league year.

These moves have affected the draft in more ways than one:


QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore to Denver (Denver trades Case Keenum to Washington)

Jack Dempsey // AP Photo

Denver desperately needed consistent quarterback play and resorted to the trade market instead of testing out the group of passers in the 2019 Draft. John Elway and company decided to trade for the 34-year-old Flacco hoping to rejuvenate a unit that hasn’t been consistently successful since Peyton Manning hung his hat up for the final time. And even in Manning’s final year it wasn’t a beautiful mess either. Flacco’s presence on the Denver roster puts all quarterback talk at pick 10 in the rearview mirror. With rumors aplenty floating throughout draft season emphasizing Elway’s crush on Missouri’s Drew Lock, Denver now opens the door for the small amount of quarterback-needy teams to get another shot at their guy.


QB Nick Foles, Philadelphia to Jacksonville (Jacksonville releases Blake Bortles)

AP Photo

After many years of tossing and turning wondering how good this team could be with consistent quarterback play, Jacksonville has its answer now. We think. On a four-year, $88 million deal, Foles heads into Duval County with 44 career starts highlighted with a Super Bowl MVP trophy. Despite not ever being a full-time starter at quarterback during his seven-year playing tenure, Foles, and the contract, gives Jacksonville something different to work with their first round selection at seven. Kyler Murray may not be the consensus QB1, though being projected by most reputable outlets at the first selection, so teams that formerly had an outside shot at landing Drew Lock and Dwayne Haskins may actually now have a good spot in line after this move.


DE Trey Flowers, New England to Detroit (Ziggy Ansah will not return)

The Lions ranked 11th in the NFL in 2018 with 43.0 sacks, which is an impressive mark when Ziggy Ansah only records a snap in seven games. With Ansah nearing a deal with Buffalo, Detroit knew it must replace its once double-digit sack artist with someone of the same potential. Flowers steps in with his 21 career sacks in three seasons to be the pass rush focal of the Lions’ front. Despite Flowers hoping to provide consistency for Detroit, this doesn’t rule them out of still eyeing a pass rusher at eight. Flowers inked a deal for five years and even though Romeo Okwara blossomed in 2018 and has signed a two-year extension, more fuel to fire is never a bad thing when rushing the passer. There are too many top-tier edge players to pass up for a need that would be a reach.

Mark J. Rebilas // USA TODAY Sports

From New England’s perspective, this move, or lack there of, highlights a need that seems to have been brewing for the past few years even with the emergence of Flowers. Hoping to see a spike in performance from Deatrich Wise and Michael Bennett coming over from Philadelphia, New England is still eyeing its next premier pass rusher in the latter part of the first round.

Potential Pass Rushers available at No. 8:

  • Brian Burns, Florida State (OLB)
  • Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (DE)
  • Rashan Gary, Michigan (DL)
  • Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (DE)

Potential Pass Rushers available at No. 32:

  • Zach Allen, Boston College (DE)
  • Jachai Polite, Florida (DE)
  • Chase Winovich, Michigan (DE)
  • Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion (OLB)


LB CJ Mosley, Baltimore to NY Jets

In somewhat of a surprise, Baltimore let Mosley go to sign with New York for an average of $17 million per year. One of the best run defenders, regardless of position, in the league, the loss of Mosley creates a gaping hole for the Ravens. Losing Mosley and Terrell Suggs (Cardinals), Baltimore must rebuild its linebacking unit and it should start in the first round. Devin White (LSU) and Devin Bush (Michigan) are the top linebackers in the draft but after solid NFL Scouting Combine performances, both will most likely be taken off the board before Baltimore picks at 22. The Ravens need immediate help within the unit and they will have to move up if they eye to choose one of the top players at the position in this year’s crop.

Potential Linebackers available at No. 22:

  • Devin Bush, Michigan
  • Mack Wilson, Alabama


LB Kwon Alexander, Tampa Bay to San Francisco

Alexander only recorded snaps in six games this season after an ACL injury sidelined him in October. Alexander provided stability over the years on a defense that could never quite put things together. San Francisco agrees and inked him to a deal that will pay him an average of $14.5 million a year. However, the 49ers are protecting themselves by including a clause in the contract that would save them from paying all the guaranteed money if Alexander were to not meet the level of satisfaction of the contract.

Kim Klement // USA TODAY Sports

Still possibly eyeing a versatile linebacker even when Alexander was still a member of the Bucs, now it’s almost certain the team will heavily consider Devin White with its first round selection at five. Though another cornerback is needed to partner with Carlton Davis, and Tampa Bay will have their shot at any one they value as CB1, adding a linebacker is vital.

Potential Linebackers available at No. 5:

  • Devin Bush, Michigan
  • Devin White, LSU


WR Devin Funchess, Carolina to Indianapolis

Stringing together his best two seasons as a pro in 2017 to 2018, Funchess became a reliable target for Cam Newton. Despite his consistency, Carolina decided to not retain the 6-foot-4 redzone target. Funchess signs only a one-year deal with Indianapolis but the absence creates a big vacancy in the wide receiver room. Carolina invested a first round pick in DJ Moore a year ago but it wouldn’t be surprising if the organization decided to go in that same direction in consecutive years with the departure of Funchess.

Potential Wide Receivers available at No. 16:

  • AJ Brown, Ole Miss
  • Hollywood Brown, Oklahoma
  • Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
  • N’Keal Harry, Arizona State


WR Jamison Crowder, Washington to NY Jets

Mark Zaleski // AP Photo

Even if Washington was able to retain Crowder, the unit as a whole needed to be upgraded to help out the newly acquired Case Keenum at quarterback. However, with Crowder’s departure, it now puts even more pressure on the Redskins to address one of its primary needs as early as possible. As of now, according to Pro Football Focus, Paul Richardson is the best returning receiver among the unit as the five-year player finished the season as the 70th best wideout. With the 15th selection in the first round, Washington will have its shot at some of the top pass catchers in the draft.

Potential Wide Receivers available at No. 15:

  • AJ Brown, Ole Miss
  • Hollywood Brown, Oklahoma
  • Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
  • N’Keal Harry, Arizona State


OT Ja’Wuan James, Miami to Denver

Allen Eyestone // The Palm Beach Post

Miami still relishes in the opportunity given to them when selecting Laremy Tunsil 13th overall in the 2016 Draft. Partnered with James, the two were perceived to make up one of the more consistent pass protecting tackle duos in the league. Despite not performing at a high level week in and week out, James’ departure to Denver still leaves a deep hole for Miami this offseason. Offensive line was a position of emphasis this offseason and now Miami has to hope one of the top offensive tackles falls in their lap at 13.

Potential Offensive Tackles available at No. 13:

  • Cody Ford, Oklahoma
  • Greg Little, Ole Miss
  • Jawaan Taylor, Florida
  • Jonah Williams, Alabama
Christian Page is a scout and writer for Cover1.net. His scouting experience dates back to 2015. Christian has a background of radio along with collegiate athletic department experience and corporate marketing.