The Atlanta Falcons improved their offensive line more than any other team during the draft. Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary will give Matt Ryan all day to throw:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Atlanta Falcons scored 414 points in 2018 and it was clear their offense was the strong point of their football team. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley make up one of the more talented passing attacks in the league and they could be even better this upcoming season.


That’s because Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff picked two offensive linemen in the first round of the draft and clearly Matt Ryan will have more time to throw from the pocket. The first player Atlanta got was former Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom and he’s a well rounded individual. Sometimes Lindstrom will down block and clear a path for a running back or he’ll pull and knock out defenders on the edge. Another thing Lindstrom does is seek out the pass rush while protecting the quarterback. If no one is in his area then this guy will go find a body to get his hands on. So many times on film that proactive approach helped the Eagles spring a big play and this was the perfect addition for the Falcons moving forward. However Dimitroff wasn’t satisfied and he traded back into the first round and also selected Washington offensive tackle Kaleb McGary. Most of McGary’s time was spent on the right side when he was playing for the Huskies and he’s very good at drive blocking his opponents. If Kaleb McGary engages a defensive linemen or a linebacker he’ll usually win. Although he does struggle a little bit against speed rushers and it’s an area that needs some improvement. Overall though this front office achieved their goal of getting better up front and both the running and passing game will be much better because of that. Who knows each of these rookies could end up being stars someday and at least Atlanta concentrated on what they perceived to be a weakness.

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Matt Ryan could have all day to throw with Atlanta drafting Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary in the first round.

 

Buffalo followed up a strong free agency with a group of talented draft picks. Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are getting the Bills back on track:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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If you’ve been paying attention to the Buffalo Bills lately you know they’re starting to turn things around. The team went to their first playoff appearance in 18 years two seasons ago and it’s starting to look like that wasn’t a fluke. It’s hard to win in Buffalo because the odds are so stacked against them but Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are making the impossible happen.


They’ve done it with smart roster moves and by nailing their draft picks (Josh Allen, Tre’Davious White, etc.). This year was no different and lets start with Ed Oliver. The former Houston defensive tackle is a brick house on the defensive line and one of Oliver’s biggest strengths is his pursuit. He can flow from the backside of a play and run down ball carriers in the offensive backfield. McDermott will love that addition to his defense and having Ed Oliver will make the linebackers and secondary’s job much easier. Buffalo’s next pick was also a linemen but it was on the other side of the ball. Beane chose Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and he was a bargain in the 2nd round. Ford took most of his reps at right tackle during his time with the Sooners. The Bills might kick him inside to guard but Ford is physical upfront and there should be more holes opening with this guy on the offensive line. Which should help out LeSean McCoy and the Bills third round pick Devin Singletary. Singletary is an elusive running back who is also very good at breaking tackles. The Florida Atlantic University product racked up 66 touchdowns while playing for the Owls and he could be the future after McCoy’s contract is up. The last good pick the Bills had was Vosean Joseph. He’s a linebacker who is hard hitting and great at blitzing. Putting Joseph behind Oliver will be an outstanding combination for this team’s front seven and there’s a lot to be optimistic about. Buffalo got better and everybody knows it.

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Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have made a lot of good moves and the Bills are starting to get back on track.

The Raiders and Giants had six first round picks but ended up squandering a great opportunity. Both of these teams could’ve done better and now their growth will be stunted:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Entering the 2019 NFL Draft all eyes were on the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants. Both teams shipped out key players (Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, and Odell Beckham Jr.) in hopes it would lead to a better future. The idea was getting rid of those guys would help Oakland and New York save cap space and acquire draft picks that will be pivotal to each team’s next run.


However none of that mattered if Mike Mayock and Dave Gettleman didn’t select good enough players on draft night and truth be told things ended up being very disappointing. Mayock started off on the wrong foot by reaching for Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell. It’s not that Ferrell is a bad player Oakland just took him too soon and Josh Allen or Ed Oliver were much better options. Moving Allen to defensive end would’ve gave this team more than going with Ferrell because at the end of the day Allen has more tenacity. Not to be shown up by the Raiders Dave Gettleman followed that up with a reach of his by choosing Duke’s Daniel Jones. Those first picks were literally the most important for each of these organizations and they both got it wrong. Jones is a good athlete with solid mechanics and throws a nice fade. Yet Dwayne Haskins was the name that should’ve been called with the 6th overall pick and Gettleman really botched a good opportunity. From there Oakland went on to add a running back who’s never had more than 640 rushing yards during three seasons at Alabama (Josh Jacobs). Followed by a safety (Jonathan Abram) who is talented but also plays a position that probably has the least impact out of the entire defense. Meanwhile the Giants grabbed Dexter Lawrence who was red flagged for the use of performance enhancing drugs and Deandre Baker who is actually one player who you can’t say anything bad about. Overall though it wasn’t enough and it has to be frustrating for those fan bases. When you’re on the clock that many times on day one you have to do better.

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The Raiders and Giants squandered a great opportunity in the first round of the draft.

It’s been a rough off-season for the Baltimore Ravens but they bounced back with three strong draft picks. Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson, and Miles Boykin can all bring it:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Baltimore Ravens lost a lot of talent this off-season and it looked like they were going to take a step backwards in the AFC North division. Yet when all hope seemed to be lost new general manager Eric Decosta stepped up and put together a couple of solid nights at the draft. First Baltimore started off by drafting Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to upgrade the wide receiver position.


Decosta wanted a young wide receiver who he could pair up with Lamar Jackson so those two could grow together. Brown is an electric pass catcher who’s also very dangerous after the catch. If there’s anything that defines Hollywood Brown’s game its definitely speed and that’s also Jackson’s strength as well. The idea is the Ravens will put a much more athletic team on the field than in the past and it should result in a more explosive offense. This group hasn’t had a 1,000 yard receiver since 2016 but it’s starting to look like their troubles could be behind them. A few more notable additions came in the 3rd round when the Ravens selected Jaylon Ferguson and Miles Boykin. Ferguson was on another level at Louisiana Tech recording 45 sacks during his time in Ruston. After losing Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs Ferguson is almost a gift from the heavens above. Baltimore’s defense has always been known for playing with attitude and this pick (Ferguson) ensures that identity will remain intact. Then there was the final piece of the puzzle which was Miles Boykin. The former Notre Dame receiver is 6’4” 228LBS so he’s the complete opposite of Marquise Brown. Instead Boykin will be more of a red zone target and he can use his body to absorb contact while hauling in passes. Making it clear Jackson will have some weapons to throw to and together this haul of players brought some much needed optimism to Maryland.

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Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson, and Miles Boykin can all bring it. The Ravens had a good draft.

The Denver Broncos stole the show in day 2 of the NFL Draft. John Elway is starting to heat up and it’s been a lot of fun to watch:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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John Elway has taken a lot of flak for his poor decision making in some of the prior drafts and a lot of that goes back to Paxton Lynch turning out to be a bust. However the Denver Broncos turned it around last year with the additions of Bradley Chubb and Courtland Sutton.


Those were two players who had an impact from the get go and it appears Elway is building on the momentum. Day one started out great for this team and they landed Noah Fant who can stretch the field vertical. Joe Flacco’s biggest strength is his throwing power and Fant is a perfect match for everything Flacco does well. Now on the second day of the draft this front office decided to pick up Dalton Risner with the 41st overall pick. Risner is an offensive tackle from Kansas State and he’s like a semi-truck plowing down anything in his path. His film was almost like watching Orlando Pace manhandle his opponents and this could be the best value in the entire draft considering he went in the 2nd round. Keep in mind there’s more athletes in today’s era then there was back in the late 90s. College football has expanded quite a bit from then until now and that means these 2nd and 3rd rounders are better than ever. The Broncos then traded up to get Drew Lock and it’s huge win for this organization because they wanted Lock in the first round. To wait and then get him with the 42 overall pick (right after Risner) is a gamble that ultimately paid off for Elway and it was truly a work of art. Meanwhile the Raiders reached with their Clelin Ferrell selection and the Chiefs could be losing Tyreek Hill. It’s too soon to say Denver will pass the other teams in this division but if they keep making picks like this then it’s only a matter of time before it all comes together.

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John Elway is starting to heat up. He’s done excellent in the past two drafts.

Who would’ve thought the Washington Redskins would be the big winner on draft night? Dwayne Haskins and Montez Sweat were a great haul:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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A couple days before the draft we heard about how Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was going to make the team’s pick in the first round. While many fans in the DC area thought that was a terrible idea believe it or not Snyder did an amazing job if those rumors were indeed true.


It all started with Washington landing Dwayne Haskins at the 15th overall spot and what a steal that ended up being. Haskins threw for 50 touchdowns last season against Big 10 opponents and it’s rare to see those prolific stats in such an elite conference. A lot of analysts said the Buckeyes receivers were the reason Haskins put up those numbers but average quarterbacks don’t air it out 50 TDs no matter how talented their supporting cast is. One thing that makes this story line even more interesting is the New York Giants passed on Haskins for Daniel Jones and you could see how frustrated the former Ohio State QB was. It won’t be surprising if Dwayne Haskins makes Dave Gettleman regret his decision for the next decade because there’s something special about this kid. Later on the Redskins actually traded back into the 1st round and selected Montez Sweat. The Mississippi State pass rusher recorded a 4.41 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine while measuring in at 6’6” 260LBS. Sweat was faster than a lot of wide receivers and running backs so you can only imagine how good he’ll be firing off the edge. This was the perfect selection because the Redskins already have a good defense with Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan, and Landon Collins. Give this is organization credit they had a better plan than most of us gave them credit for and now they have to be feel good about the position they’re in heading into the season.

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The Washington Redskins were clearly the big winner in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Going Sooner! Arizona believes they got a franchise quarterback by selecting Kyler Murray first overall:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Arizona Cardinals didn’t hide their cards very well before the draft took place and now we know that the Kyler Murray speculation was all true. Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury wasted no time picking Murray first overall and now the former Oklahoma standout will be tasked with leading this franchise back to the promise land. Clearly that won’t be easy because the Cardinals had the first pick for a reason.


This team was terrible offensively only scoring 225 points during the 2018 season. To put that in perspective the Los Angeles Rams recorded 527 points while clinching the NFC West and it proves Murray will have to overcome some tough odds. However if there’s anything Kyler Murray does well it’s perform on the football field. This guy is so good at playaction passes and run-pass options. Trying to account for the running backs and Murray’s running abilities puts a lot of stress on defenses and it makes them susceptible to play fakes / deception. A lot of times linebackers sell out to take away the ground game but then Murray will throw a pass in the area that linebacker just vacated. Oklahoma loved to run those type of plays down in the red zone and it worked to perfection. Kingsbury will probably try to emulate a lot of the things Lincoln Riley did with Murray and how can you blame him? At this point the Cardinals need to do whatever it takes to win and it’s smart to cater to Murray’s strengths. The last thing that must be mentioned is Kyler Murray can throw some amazing deep balls. Whether it’s up the seam or on a fade the ball just leaves his hand and spins perfectly to his receivers. Which is exactly why Kingsbury wanted Murray all along and now his wishes have been fulfilled.

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Arizona picked Kyler Murray first overall and he’s their franchise quarterback from here on out.

The New York Jets have to take the best defensive player available in the draft and make a push in the AFC East:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

Tonight is huge for the New York Jets because they have a chance to put themselves in a position to challenge the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Obviously knocking off the reigning Super Bowl champions will be no easy task but Gang Green has already had a great off-season with the acquisitions of Le’Veon Bell, C.J Mosley, and Jamison Crowder proving that they’re ascending towards the top of the division.


Perhaps the biggest thing they have going right now on the defensive side of the ball is the combination of Leonard Williams and Mosley. Those two will give the Jets a nice core that they can build around but they need one more player to really establish a group that can strike fear in their opponents. Truthfully there’s four options available for them and those players are Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver, or Josh Allen. Nick Bosa would be interesting because Leonard Williams could bump inside to nose tackle and that would be quite the defensive line. Whereas Quinnen Williams would be a great pick because L. Williams could stay at the defensive end spot and then you’d have the Alabama rookie in the middle at nose tackle. Ed Oliver is another interesting option and one that’s gained some steam because New York’s front office really likes the former Houston superstar. Oliver can play anywhere on the defensive line and would provide a spark right away. Then there’s Josh Allen and his biggest strength is rushing off the edge. Gregg Williams needs someone who can get to the quarterback and Allen was better than anyone in the SEC at doing that. It’s always smart to put an emphasis on the defensive line but the Jets once had Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams and they didn’t get good enough results. However expect Mike Maccagnan to ignore that and select either Williams or Oliver depending on who’s available?

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The Jets need to select the best defensive player available and make a push in the AFC East.

Powerful, dominant, why Alabama’s Quinnen Williams is destined for greatness in the National Football League:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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We all know Nick Saban pumps out some of the best NFL prospects there is and scouts having been raving about Alabama’s top player in this year’s draft class. That’s defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and boy is he a load to handle for opposing offensive linemen. Williams had 71 tackles, 19.5 TFLs, and 8 sacks last season and you have to remember he’s an interior guy.


The former All-American loves to bull rush through guards and then he usually finishes the play for a sack or a tackle in the backfield. What makes Williams unique is how much he’s able to overwhelm those blockers who are trying to prevent him from getting penetration. It’s rare to see 300 pound human beings thrown around like rag dolls and Williams is able to do that because of his brute strength. He’s also got a very good swim move and deploys it in the perfect situations. You’ll notice Williams cause his opponents to lean in one direction and then he’ll use his technique to break them down and go the other way. So many times on film that resulted in the former Crimson Tide standout stuffing a run in a short yardage situation. Aaron Donald is actually a smaller defensive linemen (280LBS) who uses his speed to rack up sacks so it’s safe to say Quinnen Williams is more powerful. Now does that mean Williams will put up better stats than Donald? Absolutely not but it’s better than being worse than Donald in every single category. There’s even been some reports that Arizona is thinking about passing on Kyler Murray to go with Williams. He’s the top rated player in the draft on NFL.com’s big board for a reason and it’s causing the Cardinals to second guess themselves. Maybe there will be a surprise waiting for us tonight and no one can blame Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury if this is the decision they make.

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Alabama’s Quinnen Williams is destined for greatness and it’s because he’s so physical at the line of scrimmage.

Seattle sold high on Frank Clark and added some very important draft capital. With two first round picks it’s clear the Seahawks plan on making a splash in 2019:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Seahawks have a reputation for always trading down in the draft and that’s why it’s so surprising for them to have two 1st round picks after dealing Frank Clark. Obviously losing Clark is brutal and it will be a tough hurdle to overcome for Seattle. However Pete Carroll develops talent better than just about anyone (excluding Bill Belichick) and he does that by preaching technique and turning his players into high football IQ individuals.


Clark himself was a 2nd round pick but he’s playing like a future Hall of Famer. So the fact that Carroll has a chance to now mold two first round talents is really exciting because he’ll get the most out of those guys. We know this organization has the 21st and 29th overall selections and that could become Noah Fant and Jaylon Ferguson. With this team already being a playoff contender it makes sense to stay put with those picks and get some really high end players. Fant would be a vertical threat who can stretch the field for Russell Wilson on seam routes. The former Hawkeyes tight ran a 4.5 flat in the 40 yard dash and that will create a lot of match-up problems against linebackers and slower safeties. Noah Fant also put up a 39.5 inch vertical jump so you can throw him fades in the end zone and he’ll probably come down with the football. Then Ferguson would be tasked with replacing Clark. Of course before the former Louisiana Tech star (Ferguson) even steps on the field he’ll be much cheaper than the $105M Clark just received from the Chiefs. Meaning going this route will save Seattle a lot of cap space and Ferguson is a little bit more powerful than Clark was. His 45 sacks in college jump out at you and Carroll would have enough firepower to possibly make it to the Super Bowl.

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Seattle sold high on Frank Clark and now they have two first round picks.

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