My job as an analyst for NFL.com entails spending a big chunk of my summer helping people prepare for their fantasy drafts. It’s something I’m rather good at. Sure, I did once recommend staying away from Keenan Allen in a game where he put up something like 200 fantasy points against the Steelers. But overall, I’m pretty solid.
And seeing that I rock as a draft consultant on the fantasy level, it only makes sense I should do the same when it comes to advising real NFL teams with draft prep. I mean, it’s the next logical step on the evolutionary chain here. So, I give to you my draft consultation for the 28 franchises holding picks in Round 1. This isn’t a prediction of what they are going to do. Rather, this is what they should do. It’s up to them to decide whether to listen to me or not.
To see every pick each team holds in the 2019 NFL Draft, click here.
School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior (RS) I don’t want to convince you,
Cardinals, to stick with
Josh Rosen, even though I’m extremely confident he’s going to be a great NFL quarterback one day. It seems you have your heart set on
Kyler Murray — much in the same way Colton had his heart sent on Cassie during “The Bachelor.” And it would be foolhardy to try to talk you out of what your heart wants. So you be you,
Cardinals. Draft Murray. And don’t worry: Rosen is going to make some other team very, very happy.
School: Ohio State | Year: Junior Hey, Niners: You should trade this pick. Remember how you made the
Bears bid against themselves to move up one spot for Mitch Trubisky in 2017? That was pretty good. John Lynch is good at that. If you can talk one of the quarterback-needy teams into making a similar type of move, you need to do it. And if you can’t? No worries. You end up with
Joey Bosa’s brother, which is going to be pretty sweet — although you might need to work on his taste in movies.
School: Florida | Year: Junior A lot of mocks have you guys taking an edge rusher, which is obviously a need. But you need to make sure that you finish the job on offense that you recently started. You invested big in
Sam Darnold and
Le’Veon Bell. Go all the way! If you spend a lot of money fixing up a house, you first have to make sure there is a solid foundation.
School: Alabama | Year: Sophomore (RS) I’ve made this case perfectly clear. You are not to take a quarterback. You are to roll with
Read more about that here. Williams would be a nice pick for you here at No. 4 to shore up the middle of the defensive line. Of course, if you could trade down for more picks (even though
you have eight already), that’s not a bad option, either. Try to get the
Redskins to bid against each other for a quarterback. But if the
49ers can’t pull that off at No. 2, you might not be able to do it at No. 4, either.
School: LSU | Year: Junior I would love for you to double-down and just keep focusing on offense after hiring Bruce Arians. Yes, you have Arians calling the plays, and it’s
no risk it, no biscuit. So, let’s go! And honestly, I’m still kind of upset Todd Bowles signed with you guys and didn’t take the
Bears’ DC position. Not that I don’t like the guy the
Bears hired for the job, Chuck Pagano. I guess I have to respect Bowles’ loyalty to Arians. And with that, it would probably behoove you to grab White, who can anchor your defense for years to come.
School: Kentucky | Year: Senior You need to end up with somebody with the first name Josh. For starters, I would try to trade for
Josh Rosen. He’s going to be available if the
Cardinals take my advice. I’m not sure I would move this pick in that deal, though. But could you imagine if you landed
Saquon Barkley and still got one of the top quarterback prospects from the 2018
NFL Draft? Talk about eating your cake and getting your quarterback, too. That would be amazing. And it sure beats reaching for a quarterback here, especially if Allen is available.
School: Michigan | Year: Junior Your defense is great, and I feel like you’re going to be back on top again because, if nothing else,
Nick Foles can at least move the sticks a little bit and give the D some rest. But I love the idea of going with a guy like Gary, who is considered by many to be the biggest athletic freak in the draft. And I know that’s always a risky proposition. It’s kind of like when we thought Lex Luger was going to be the biggest superstar in wrestling because he checked all the boxes, except for the big one that said, “Is he good at wrestling?” Still, Gary is the kind of guy you envision wreaking havoc off the edge.
School: Mississippi State | Year: SeniorLions, you need a tight end. I mean, an Eric Ebron-type would be really nice in this offense, right? But the team signed
Jesse James, so that likely takes you out on the Iowa TEs,
Noah Fant and
T.J. Hockenson. You also spent a lot of money on
Trey Flowers, and it’s almost coming to the point where you should change your uniform color from Honolulu blue to
Patriots blue. But whatever. I still say you continue to bulk up the defense with a guy like Sweat, who can get after the passer.
School: Mississippi | Year: Sophomore (RS) I feel bad for you guys because you were so close to getting
Antonio Brown before there were whispers he would play the ”
I’d rather retire than play for Buffalo” card. His loss, because Buffalo is a fun town and
Josh Allen is a good quarterback. I like that you went with
John Brown and
Cole Beasley in free agency. But I feel it’s essential that you guys continue to stockpile offensive talent. Now, it might be a reach to go with Metcalf this high in the draft, but if you’re still locked into this spot and can’t convince a QB-needy team to move up, I say you say, “excuse my reach” and just make this pick.
School: Iowa | Year: Sophomore (RS) Mr. Elway, you were one of the best quarterbacks I’ve ever seen play the game. Recent history shows you haven’t been great at identifying talent at the position in the draft. And at some point, you’re going to need a QB of the future. This isn’t the year for that, though. You really should be looking at
Josh Rosen, even with
Joe Flacco in the fold. But you can ride Flacco this year and give him a little bit of help with Hockenson. He’s a dynamic tight end, and while it’s tough for rookies at this position to come in and make a huge impact, I do believe he could be one of the exceptions to the rule.
School: Ohio State | Year: Sophomore (RS) Shock the system! I
recommended you take Billy Price last year and you did just that. Good on you for listening. He’s going to work out great. So, go with Haskins in this spot. I’m a big
Andy Dalton guy and believe he has some football left in him. But it’s
Andy Dalton. He’s like the spaghetti and meatballs of quarterbacks. It’s fine. It’s reliable. But it’s also unspectacular. I know it’s kind of cheap to just take a great Ohio State player and see what happens. But it’s also not a bad idea, especially with Cleveland going nuts over
Baker Mayfield. Give your fans something to get excited about.
School: Iowa | Year: Junior Who is the best punter available? He would probably be the team’s MVP, seeing that you hired a guy to coach whose only experience was that he was once in a text chain with Sean McVay. OK, I’m kidding, but Matt LaFleur does have only one year of experience as an NFL play caller. You guys did a good job of filling holes on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, so maybe you could add some offensive weapons around
Aaron Rodgers. And if Fant doesn’t work out, at least he could be valuable in the next expose that is written about your
allegedly petulant quarterback.
School: Missouri | Year: Senior I love that you picked up
Ryan Fitzpatrick. No doubt in my mind there is going to be a three-week stretch where Fitzmagic is the best quarterback in the NFL and everybody is going to fear the beard. And then he’s going to have a six-interception game because I’ve seen this movie before. And when that happens, you’re going to need to have a young signal-caller who is ready to take the reins. Then he’ll inevitably struggle, which opens the door for Fitzmagic to once again go on a mini-hot streak until, well, you get the picture.
School: Clemson | Year: Senior As I did with the Bucs, I’d also like to ask you to not address your offensive concerns. But again, this comes from a place of selfishness related to my fantasy team. But this would be a great spot for you to land a guy like Wilkins, who is No. 7 overall in Daniel Jeremiah’s ranking of
the draft’s top 50 prospects. That’s huge. And the
Falcons could use help up front on defense.
School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior Seriously, guys. When was the last time you had an elite wide receiver in his prime? Santana Moss?
Pierre Garcon? Art Monk? When? You’ve missed on some guys at the position in the past, but Brown is going to be a good one. I would even say he could end up being better than
D.K. Metcalf, but Metcalf fit the
Bills’ profile a little better. And it wouldn’t hurt you to land this stud right here in this spot. And yes, I’m going to give you the same advice I’m giving a lot of other teams: Try to get
Josh Rosen if you can. He’s going to be good. I mean, you’ll just end up franchise-tagging him a bunch down the road. But you really should at least lob a phone call to see what’s up.
School: Washington State | Year: Senior (RS) Oh my gosh, I know you guys were looking at a wide receiver and I had to open my big fat mouth and advocate for the
Redskins to take one. That’s my bad, guys. But I wouldn’t go in that direction here with those two off the board. So here’s what you do: Take Dillard and start to rebuild that offensive line. I know
Cam Newton is built like Brock Lesnar and seems invincible. He’s not. In fact, he’s coming off shoulder surgery. Protect him.
School: Houston | Year: Junior Whatever,
Giants. I’m about ready to give up on you. I don’t think any other team would move a first-rounder for Rosen. This would be the perfect spot for you to make that swap. It’s your second first-round pick anyway, so why not spring? If you don’t end up with Rosen, you might be stuck with Duke quarterback
Daniel Jones here. Hard pass. Just load up on defense if you can’t make the deal for Rosen. If you listen to me, you’ll get Allen and Oliver, two of the top six players in this draft! If that happens, I will personally write Dave Gettleman a letter and apologize for making fun of him.
School: Alabama | Year: Junior I was upset at you when you passed on
Will Hernandez in the first round last year, even though you did OK by getting
Brian O’Neill in Round 2. I mean, I’m not super-bummed as a
Bears fan, but you get what I’m saying. Now, I know that you’re naturally drawn to draft a cornerback because that’s what you always do. I’m here to say that if you take this stud from Alabama, your offensive line worries will be over. I mean, you’ll still have
Kirk Cousins, so don’t get too excited, but your O-line will be set.
School: Florida State | Year: Junior I’d prefer to have you guys looking at tight end or receiver, but with two of the best ones at each position already off the board (and I don’t hate
Delanie Walker or Jonnu Smith), Burns would be an excellent choice. He’s shooting up draft boards and could be a hot commodity come draft time. This draft seems to be brimming with edge rushers, but he has the length and speed to remind
Titans fans of
you know who, even if he’s not quite that much of a
School: Arizona State | Year: Junior All right, guys. You have that
Antonio Brown business behind you. And while you could still use some help defensively with top guys like
Greedy Williams and
Byron Murphy still on the board, I’m asking you to go with a receiver. I know you still have
James Washington and such. But adding a guy like Harry to your team will really help keep this offense rolling. I know it’s kind of a risk. You got AB in the sixth round. You got
JuJu Smith-Schuster in Round 2. But go first round on your receiver here and really send a message about your priorities.
School: Washington | Year: Sophomore (RS) Let me get this out of the way right here: Quit screwing around with
Russell Wilson. Don’t trade him. Don’t let him walk. Ask him what he wants to remain the quarterback of the
Seahawks for the rest of his career and you do just that. There will be a time in the near future where he is regarded as the best quarterback in the NFL. So just stop it. And draft a cornerback.
School: Michigan | Year: Junior You’re going to need to pick a wide receiver at some point. You know this, right? But you can’t draft one here. So I would go with Bush. You lost
C.J. Mosley (what was that about?), so you are going to need a replacement. Bush might be a little undersized, but he’s the perfect type of Baltimore player because of his toughness.
School: Alabama | Year: Junior I know you need some help in the secondary. You could probably use some help on the offensive line, as well. Get yourselves a stud running back, please. I’m done with
Lamar Miller and all of the other nonsense. Go with Jacobs. He has some work to do in pass protection, which is fine. But the dude is a beast as a runner and he can catch the football. He would give you a nice little trifecta to go with
Deshaun Watson and
DeAndre Hopkins. Don’t be afraid to be great. Make this move!
School: Clemson | Year: Junior (RS) Don’t be bummed because you missed out on Jacobs.
Isaiah Crowell is going to be really good for you. So let’s once again focus on the defense. You got
Quinnen Williams earlier in the draft, and he’s also going to do great things for you. Now we’re going to add Ferrell off the edge. He won’t make you forget about
Khalil Mack, but you’re going to have a nice duo to build around on the defense.
School: LSU | Year: Sophomore (RS) Don’t get mad I told the
Texans to draft Jacobs. You have
Jordan Howard. You are more than fine with him. Stop your bellyaching. So, go with Williams to address some concerns in the secondary. You don’t have many needs, but Williams would be a solid pick for you. Although, am I really being truthful with you after the heartbreak you caused
Bears fans last January? I’ll let you wonder.
School: Mississippi State | Year: Junior Your draft last year had more studs than drywall. There aren’t many needs left to fill. But if I may, I would slot Simmons here as a nice value pick. His stock has dipped due to the
ACL tear he suffered in February and
off-field concerns, but he’s going to be a productive pro.
School: Temple | Year: Senior Now, you are in a great position for anybody who wants to trade back into the first round to take
Daniel Jones. Don’t you dare pick him. I’ve told you why
you shouldn’t besmirch Derek Carr like that. But if you could get, say, the
Giants to make a desperation move like that, I’m all for trading down. But assuming you keep the pick,
Rock Ya-Sin would be my choice. And not just for the
Rock Ya-Sin City marketing opportunities after the move to Las Vegas in 2020. But that certainly doesn’t hurt.
School: N.C. State | Year: Senior (RS) You don’t have a lot of pressing needs to address here. If there was an opportunity to replace
Tyrell Williams in this spot, I would certainly advocate for doing so. But I don’t see a good option there. Instead, let’s build some depth on the offensive line. Bradbury can play guard before eventually becoming the new Nick Hardwick when
Mike Pouncey moves on. And by the way, if the
Cardinals still haven’t found a partner for
Josh Rosen, move this pick for him! Rosen would be the perfect heir apparent for
Philip Rivers. An
Aaron Rodgers type in LA. (He would eventually become the best QB in Los Angeles, too.)
School: Mississippi State | Year: SeniorEric Berry is gone. Your defense was torched last year. And you could pair Abram with
Tyrann Mathieu to be a formidable duo. This is a pretty easy pick, guys.
School: Duke | Year: Junior (RS) Somebody is trading back into the first round for Jones if you’re not going to make this move. Listen,
Aaron Rodgers is 35 years old and has a long injury history. Maybe it’s time you guys start thinking about his eventual replacement. Wasn’t Brett Favre this age when you made a similar move with A-Rod? Fine. Don’t feel like you have to listen to me. What do I care.
School: Notre Dame | Year: Senior I don’t know what to tell you here. Tillery has some pretty good game tape where he looked like the best guy on the field. He seems like the kind of guy you could put out there with
Aaron Donald and he will be productive right from the get-go.
School: Alabama | Year: Junior As if you’re going to keep this pick anyway. I know it seems almost too easy to just throw a tight end out there because you need to replace Rob Gronkowski — and forgive me if I don’t think
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is going to be the answer. But Smith does enough as a blocker to make him a useful member of your team next season. So, why not?
Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @AdamRank.