Believe it or not, we’re less than a month away from the 2019 NFL Draft. Time flies when you’re having fun, or in my case, grinding tape and evaluating prospects. I’ll grind away on what I think a player can do, and inevitably, he won’t go to the team that makes sense to me. But that’s what makes this fun!
More often than not, something that all of us evaluators like to do is run through a mock draft. Those are always fun, but they can get repetitive. How many times can we really run through Kyler Murray or Quinnen Williams as the top pick of the 2019 NFL Draft? It’s exhausting at times, so I’ve thought of a new idea. What I’ll do is similar to a mock draft, but it expands through the entire 2019 NFL Draft.
This idea stems from opening day in baseball. Whether you’re a Rockies fan or a Mariners fan, it doesn’t matter, there are players on your favorite baseball team that you may or may not want on the roster. When we get to football season, the same thing is going to happen.
It doesn’t matter if your football team has five picks or 10 in the 2019 NFL Draft. There is one player that can help contribute for years to come. More often than not, it happens. But who are they? They’re not always the team’s first-round pick. It varies, and in this exercise, I want to provide one player that your team NEEDS by the time we get to kickoff for the regular season. (Yes, this will be in multiple parts. First up, the NFC!)
Arizona Cardinals – Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State (33rd Pick)
Look, we get it. Kyler Murray is going first overall and they’re going to trade Josh Rosen. It could be the best thing the Cardinals have ever done, but in reality, it’s extremely risky and I think it’s a poor decision. But let’s move on from talking about Murray and Rosen. Since the Cardinals are transitioning to a 3-4 defense, they need to put a focus on finding a nose tackle to disrupt offensive lines everywhere. By passing on Quinnen Williams, the Cardinals could absolutely get the steal of the draft by selecting Simmons with the 33rd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Outside of his torn ACL, he’d be in the discussion for the top-5 of the draft. Getting him at this spot would be a steal, and he would make life a living hell for offenses everywhere. Because of the power behind in his frame and his ability to make a swim move look easy, if he’s there at 33, the Cardinals need to run to the podium. When we get to the regular season, you need to run to your couch and enjoy what Simmons can provide.
San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State (2nd Pick)
Taking Solomon Thomas in the 2017 NFL Draft might not have been the best decision. Looking back, the 49ers still could have traded back, and in reality, should have taken Jamal Adams. Thomas has not been the same player he was for Stanford; if anything, he’s showing that he’s undersized and doesn’t have a natural position in the NFL.
With that being said, the 49ers can’t mess this draft up. Regardless of spending three of their last four draft picks on defensive linemen, they’ll have to do it again. This time, it should lead to immediate success. Bosa falling in their laps is the football gods blessing them with a day one starter with the best pass rush plan of any edge rusher in this class.
Seattle Seahawks – Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas (21st Pick)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Charles Omenihu is a great fit for the Seahawks. It’s highly unlikely that he’s available by the time the Seahawks make their second pick of the draft, so they’ll have to use their first pick on him. That’s okay, folks. You’re getting a day one starter for your defensive line and on top of that, he’s versatile.
Omenihu has great length and should be able to play all along the Seahawks’ defensive line. Whether he’s playing in a 4i or standing up off the edge, he can do just about anything asked of him. At his pro day, he improved his 3-cone drill to 7.23 seconds, faster than Rashan Gary and Clelin Ferrell. To boot, his wingspan is over 85-inches long.
Los Angeles Rams – Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State (95th Pick)
Imagine putting an explosive player like Renell Wren next to Aaron Donald. Do I have any takers? Now that Ndamukong Suh is gone, the Rams should consider Wren for multiple reasons. He’s got an explosive burst off the ball and can pack some power behind his punch. Wren has the ability to bend down the LOS with ease.
He’s not as polished as other defensive linemen. His hands can become inconsistent and block recognition has to get better. At the Combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.01 seconds and put up 30 reps in the bench press. Overall, getting him in the third round is a terrific value and should provide plenty of upside for the future, especially alongside Aaron Donald.