For 30 of the 32 teams, we are at the quarter-mark of the season. There are still many games to be played but why not have some fun during this rough stretch as Jets fans? Using the current (unofficial) order with strength of schedule being the tie-breaker, here goes my best shot upgrading each team.
* Don’t forget to check out my weekly NFL Draft Cheat Sheet for more information on these players!*
EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
This is the benefit of getting your QB position filled early, now instead of reaching on one in this draft, they can take the generational talent in Nick Bosa. Having him come off the edge with Chandler Jones and Markus Golden would have offensive coordinators scared every week.
2. San Francisco 49ers
CB Greedy Williams, LSU
It has been a disappointing year losing two key investments in Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon very early on. Looking at the silver lining, they get a chance to bring in a lockdown CB who will only help the likes of DeForest Buckner and Soloman Thomas.
3. Oakland Raiders
IDL Ed Oliver, Houston
They traded Khalil Mack and they can no longer get to the QB. While Oliver won’t set the edge like Mack did, he will provide an interior presence which is arguably even better. This class is loaded with edge talent, no need to reach with a talent like Oliver available.
4. New York Jets
OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
You all have no idea how badly I wanted to put an edge rusher at this spot. But there are a few reasonings to Williams ultimately being the selection. First off, Williams was the highest rated player on the board and with left tackle being the 2nd highest need it’s impossible to pass in this scenario. In addition to that, there seem to be bigger names on the free agent market and a deeper draft class at edge rusher, making it more likely to find potential starters in other ways. Jonah Williams will be able to step right into the starting left tackle spot to give Sam Darnold the protection he desperately needs.
5. New York Giants
QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
In this scenario, it seems like the wait for a QB may have paid off. Herbert has the build, athleticism, accuracy, arm strength you want out of a quarterback. However, there are some questions surrounding his mental makeup so if true, maybe NYC isn’t the greatest spot for him. Without actually being able to know, I’ll still send him there.
6. Indianapolis Colts
IDL Raekwon Davis, Alabama
Chris Ballard and the Colts have done a good job bringing in their guys in the last two offseasons. They continue here with Davis, as he has shown not only the ability to get to the quarterback (8.5 sacks in 2017), but has tremendous strength and leverage to hold his own in the running game.
7. Houston Texans
OT David Edwards, Wisconsin
This is a bit of a reach but there aren’t many other players of a remote need that are worth it for them. Edwards is the best tackle remaining who could step in on either side. When a lineman comes out of Wisconsin you know they will be very well coached.
8. Detroit Lions
EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State
The defense could use a spark up front. Greg Armstrong and myself are probably two of Burns’ biggest fans and think he’ll be a force right away, particularly against the pass. He has experience standing up and in a 3pt stance. Burns has a variety of pass rushing moves and a motor his coaches will love. Put him across from Ansah and good things will happen.
9. Buffalo Bills
WR Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
The offense the Bills surrounded Josh Allen with is honestly a disgrace. The kid wasn’t ready to step in and play, let alone for the worst supporting system in the league. Harmon is my top receiver who will immediately become the best target for Allen. He has good size at 6’3 215 and with that he uses his body well to consistently grab contested balls. His YAC ability really stands out as well.
10. Atlanta Falcons
IDL Rashan Gary, Michigan
By no means are the Falcons the 10th worst team in the NFL but injuries and a rough schedule have placed them here. With the offense still looking great, build the defensive front around players like Vic Beasley, Tak McKinley and Grady Jarrett. Gary could play inside or out but I would like for him to put the pounds back on to play inside here.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
LB Devin White, LSU
Having Ryan Shazier go down the way he did was heartbreaking but if there is anyone to fill that void it’s Devin White. He shouldn’t drop this far but this is best case scenario for them. White is uber-athletic who does a great job of getting to the ball in a hurry. I like how he is also taking good lanes and is able to get off blocks in the process.
12. Minnesota Vikings
EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
I don’t see the player dropping this far or the team picking this high come April yet here we are. In this scenario they take what unfortunately might be the replacement for Everson Griffen, who is going through his own problems. Ferrell in this defense would be a terror for offensive coordinators as his size and speed combo along with Hunter is as good of a young duo as you’ll see.
13. Cleveland Browns
WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
After drafting Baker Mayfield many assumed the wide receiver spot was pretty set with Landry, Gordon, Coleman and Callaway but with two of them gone, it wouldn’t hurt to grab a freak to be the X receiver in Metcalf. What really stands out is his release, consistently being able to get separation early on in the play.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
S Deionte Thompson, Alabama
The Bucs made the mistake of passing on Derwin James last year, they’re not going to do it again here. Granted they’re not the same type of player, but they are both playmakers. Thompson is a true center fielder with limitless range rather than a chess piece like James. After seeing this defense get torched time and time again in the air it only makes sense to give them the best guy to help.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma
On my WR rankings two weeks ago, Brown was my fifth receiver but after being able to watch him the last two weeks he’s made the jump up to third. What he could do in this offense would be special. They already have Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and the two monster tight ends. Get some legitimate speed in there and this offense really opens up.
16. Seattle Seahawks
EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
It seems like this team is going through an overhaul all over the roster with the exception of QB and MLB. For instance they have lost Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and now Earl Thomas over the last year. Now they replace one of them with that legit threat off the edge opposite Frank Clark in Sweat. He’s had a great 2018 season so far constantly getting into the backfield.
17. New England Patriots
LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
They could look at QB but I think they stay away in the first round. The defense has struggled mightily outside the Miami game and you can see it at the linebacker position. This Josh Allen could step in and contribute off ball or on the edge. He would be a chess piece for Bill that he would undoubtedly utilize as best as Allen could be.
18. Los Angeles Chargers
CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
You have to feel for the Chargers and how they constantly have injuries to key spots, the main victim being Jason Verrett. He cannot prove to stay on the field, which means they have to find someone that can. Oruwariye has good length at 6’1 but still has great short area quickness. He’s a redshirt senior getting his first starting action this year.
19. Dallas Cowboys
TE Noah Fant, Iowa
Not the sexy pick but a needed pick for the Cowboys. Having Dak Prescott under center, they need to have a security blanket outside of Zeke. His combination of size and athleticism stand out above all. He will be a matchup nightmare, especially in the red zone, as he does a great job of getting open as a route runner and using his wide radius.
20. Denver Broncos
IDL Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State
The Broncos have looked much better than I thought they would so far. Here they can just add on to the defense with Jones, who has been an absolute stud this season, especially in Bosa’s absence. It wouldn’t shock me to see him move up boards during the draft process but for now the Broncos get a steal.
21. Green Bay Packers
WR AJ Brown, Ole Miss
Aaron Rodgers is in the back 9 of his career, time to get him his weapons before he’s done. While Brown isn’t the best receiver on his team, he can still be a first round prospect. A nice deep threat who can also play as a big slot type. Having a core with Brown, Adams, Graham and the emergence of Geronimo Allison gives Rodgers a pretty crew around him.
22. Washington Redskins
CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
Alex Smith has done a very good job in the three games as Washington’s quarterback. While I’m sure Jay Gruden is happy, they should find a replacement for both Breeland and Fuller. Baker has held his own against some stiff competition this year. It will be exciting to see how he does against a QB like Tua later on.
23. Miami Dolphins
CB Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State
Sheffield is a player I wrote about a couple weeks ago on my Cheat Sheet. He is just the next CB with lightning speed to come out of OSU. They always seem to come out of the program with great technique thanks in part to Greg Schiano. Lining him up with Xavier Howard in the secondary would make a huge difference when having to face Sam Darnold twice a year.
24. Tennessee Titans
IDL Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
Mike Vrabel came in and got three key pieces for his defense last year with Malcolm Butler, Rahsaan Evans and Harold Landry. It only makes sense to give them a big guy to swallow up blockers alongside Jurell Casey. Right now they’re in the midst of building a great defense, the AFC should be on look out.
25. Carolina Panthers
EDGE Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
As I have mentioned, Ximines is quickly becoming a name to know from a no name school. Over the his four seasons he has 27 sacks, including two in the upset win over Virginia Tech. He will be a bit older than most of the upcoming rookies being a redshirt senior but taking a player with his skill set is worth it.
26. Oakland Raiders (*Acquired in Khalil Mack trade)
HB David Montgomery, Iowa State
Montgomery is one of my favorite players to watch in this ‘19 class. His balance is tops in the class, seemingly never going down on first contact. His stats will be deceiving because of his poor OL so don’t hold that against him. In a down year for running backs, Montgomery is my favorite with Rodney Anderson out with another knee injury.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State
I’m not a Blake Bortles advocate by any stretch, but even I can’t deny how he has played, his last six games in particular. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has done a great job working this offense to benefit Bortles. I say they should just keep building the unit up front. Risner has been playing RT but can possibly see a kick inside if necessary.
28. Baltimore Ravens
WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
The Ravens offense definitely looks improved over last year’s unit but I wouldn’t be so comfortable with the receiving core. Crabtree and Brown are nice players but the former is over 30 and the ladder has injury concerns. By bringing in Harry you get a big target who does a phenomenal job in the open field. He makes things happen when the ball is in his hands, which is something the offense is still lacking.
29. Green Bay Packers (*Acquired in Marcus Davenport trade)
LB Mack Wilson, Alabama
With this extra pick they need to be able to help out the defense. They took two corners in the first two rounds last year in Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, so time to look in the front seven. I would like to give them an edge rusher but Mack Wilson falling here is too good to pass up. Blake Martinez is one player but having Oren Burks as the other starter is uninspiring.
30. Cincinnati Bengals
IDL Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
Here’s a player I would not want on my team due to some of his actions in the past. However, all it takes is one team and who better to select him than a team that has shown no issue taking this sort of player. He’s easily a top 15 talent in this class and to be able to have a front with him, Geno Atkins and Carl Lawson would be incredible.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
CB Byron Murphy, Washington
The offense they have with Patrick Mahomes under center is scary, but the defense is among the worst in the league. After trading Marcus Peters last offseason, the defense is not very well equipped to compete against offenses like the Rams. He has a smaller frame but he’ll still get physical. Great athlete who would fit in the scheme really well.
32. Los Angeles Rams
EDGE Jachai Polite, Florida
I absolutely love the fit for Polite here. The Rams made some big moves this past offseason helping them become Super Bowl favorites. With that being said, they are still lacking any sort of pass rush on the outside, hence the selection of Polite. He spends most of his time in a 2pt stance with a very impressive first step. He may not be a 1st round player at the moment but the potential as a pass rusher is there as he continues to get better with time.