Fifty more sleeps. That’s all that stands between right now and the 2019 NFL Draft. It will be here before we know it and the landscape is becoming more clear each day.
I hope that this column has become a staple for you each week, but just in case you are new, 6-Pack Thursday is my weekly brain dump on six football-related things that involve the NFL, College Football or NFL Draft.
Let’s crack this thing open!
San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa at No. 2
The best thing that can happen for the 49ers is for the Arizona Cardinals to invest the No. 1 overall pick on Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray which pushes the best prospect in the draft right into their lap. While San Francisco has used plenty of premium draft capital on its defensive line, the outside pass rush is still severely lacking. Enter Bosa who can immediately solve the issue.
Bosa is a refined technician with his hand usage, explosive mover and features exceptional play strength. He has the upside to become that next Myles Garrett, Von Miller or Khalil Mack caliber edge rusher in the NFL.
Niners fans should be rooting for Arizona to move on from Josh Rosen and start celebrating if a trade is made.
New York Jets - Options Galore
If the Cardinals draft Murray at No. 1 overall and the 49ers snag Bosa at No. 2, the Jets are in a dream scenario with endless options.
On one hand, the Jets can stand pat and select Alabama DT Quinnen Williams who would be the best player on the board or snatch up Florida OT Jawaan Taylor and help fortify things up front for Sam Darnold. How about giving Darnold a game-changing WR like Ole Miss’ DK Metcalf or bolstering the EDGE rushing arsenal with Kentucky’s Josh Allen?
With so many worthy avenues at its disposal, the Jets could also explore the possibility of trading back. A year after trading considerable draft capital to move up for Darnold, New York could recoup that with a trade back. Who wants Dwayne Haskins? Come get him.
Regardless of what happens with No 1 and 2, the Jets are in a favorable position, but especially if the top two picks are Murray and Bosa.
Cincinnati Bengals - Dwayne Haskins slips to No. 11
There’s no better time to go in a new direction at quarterback than in Year 1 of the Zac Taylor era in Cincinnati. While this year’s crop of quarterbacks lacks star power at the top, there is a reasonable case to be made that Haskins could fall to No. 11. The Jaguars are likely adding Nick Foles, Dave Gettleman loves Eli Manning and Denver has been linked to Drew Lock. If all of that holds true, the Bengals cannot let Haskins pass them by.
Completing 70 percent of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, Haskins had a historically great season for a Big Ten quarterback in 2018. His ability to slot throws from the pocket to the dynamic Ohio State offensive weapons can transition to the NFL where Joe Mixon, AJ Green and Tyler Boyd would immediately be at his disposal.
No time like the present to get out of quarterback purgatory in Cincy.
Atlanta Falcons - Houston DT Ed Oliver at No. 14
Even with the franchise tag being slapped on Grady Jarrett, Atlanta needs a running mate alongside him up front and Oliver would be tremendous value in the middle of the first round.
A penetration-style defensive tackle, Oliver would thrive being able to attack gaps and work into the backfield in Dan Quinn’s defense. The athletic ability Atlanta could challenge offenses with to block on passing downs with Oliver added to the mix would be a nightmare for offensive coordinators.
Carolina Panthers - Alabama OT Jonah Williams at No. 16
For the Panthers, it’s all about prioritizing needs which it has plenty of. While the secondary and defensive end positions have glaring holes, they pale in comparison to the concerns Carolina has on the offensive line. Outside of Trai Turner and Taylor Moton, there is very little to be excited about up front for Carolina.
The Panthers will go as far as Cam Newton takes them. Cam Newton is only going as far as his protection holds up and that is why attacking the offensive line should be Carolina’s top priority.
A consensus All-American and the 2018 SEC Offensive Lineman of the Year award, Williams is an accomplished and NFL-ready blocker. A three-year starter for the Tide, Williams offers position flexibility and the technical refinement needed to play right away.
With limited resources available to invest in free agency, Carolina needs to hit on draft picks to improve and Williams has the upside of a plug and play starter where Carolina needs one most.
Tennessee Titans - Florida State EDGE Brian Burns at No. 19
Burns and Landry off the edge? GOOD LUCK! That is an insane pairing of technically-refined speed rushers with tremendous flexibility. Burns and Landry paired with Jurrell Casey on the interior provides a lethal trio of rushers on passing downs that would be considerable stress on opposing offensive lines to deal with.
Burns checked in at the NFL Scouting Combine at 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds and clocked an impressive 4.53 40-yard dash. His blend of length, flexibility, technical refinement, football intelligence and burst serve as a strong foundation for him to become a dynamic playmaking defender in the NFL. In his last 11 games against Power 5 competition, Burns recorded 20.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles.