Happy Valentine's Day, my friends! With love in the air, I wanted to dedicate this week's column to discussing the things I love about the 2019 NFL Draft Class. As my co-workers will be quick to tell you, I am all about Holiday-themed content so V-Day falling on a Thursday was perfect.
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!
The quarterback possibilities in every draft are always so interesting, but this year takes things to another level. Over the past three NFL Drafts, 11 quarterbacks were drafted in the first round. Of those, 10 were acquired by a team that traded up to get them. The only quarterback that did not require a trade up was No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.
It's arguable that none of the 2019 quarterbacks are worth a high selection, but that isn't going to stop the NFL. Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock are going in the first round and it appears Daniel Jones is too.
With none of the teams picking 1-5 likely opting to pick a quarterback, which teams are coming up to snatch a quarterback? Will they fall? Who is going to be the team that drafts Murray? This is going to be a delight to witness how it all unfolds. I love the suspense.
Pass Rushers Galore
It's hard to find good pass rushers... or so we've been told. There are no shortage of quality options in the 2019 Draft. I would not be surprised to see eight (8!) edge rushers come off the board on Day 1. As crazy as it sounds to have 25 percent of the first round picks playing the same position, that is just how the board stacks up. Pass rushers are at a premium and the options are plentiful in this crop. Who are those eight I could see drafted round one?
- Nick Bosa, Ohio State
- Brian Burns, Florida State
- Josh Allen, Kentucky
- Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
- Rashan Gary, Michigan
- Jachai Polite, Florida
- Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
- Charles Omenihu, Texas
Actually Good Offensive Lineman
The offensive line talent has been lacking in the NFL, with a great concern regarding how the defensive line talent is severely outpacing it. While that is still true, even this year, there is more offensive line prospects to get excited about as potential starters than I can remember in a while.
At offensive tackle, Jawaan Taylor, Jonah Williams and Cody Ford are all primed to be top-20 selections. Dalton Risner, Yodny Cajuste, Andre Dillard, Greg Little, David Edwards and Tytus Howard could all come off the board in picks No. 20-50.
On the interior offensive line, Garrett Bradbury, Chris Lindstrom, Michael Deiter, Erik McCoy, Dru Samia, Ben Powers and Elgton Jenkins have the feel of late Day 1/Day 2 selections that profile as quality starters in the NFL.
With 15 prospects that profile as Day 1/Day 2 guys on the offensive line, there will be ample opportunities for a team to fortify its front five. We don't say that every year.
The Raaiiddeerrrsssss (Berman Voice)
The Raiders have been the butt of so many jokes over the last year, but what is happening in Oakland is fascinating. The hiring of Jon Gruden as head coach, the trades which landed the Raiders three first-round picks in this year's draft and bringing on NFL Network Draft Guru Mike Mayock as general manager makes this a highly intriguing scenario.
One of the most storied franchises in football, the Raiders have a massive and unique following that are highly passionate about the team. The engagement from Raider Nation on draft topics has been fascinating. A team that is difficult to predict with this much draft capital, so many holes to fill and the decision makers in place make Oakland a highly intriguing situation to monitor.
The debate regarding the valuation of running backs is among the most heated football discussions you will find. Do running backs matter? Are they hard to find? While I am not touching that topic here, projecting this year's crop is difficult.
I've seen mock drafts with Joshua Jacobs as a top-5 pick and others that don't have any running backs going in the first round.
The variance in running back rankings this year also promises generate some exciting discussion. I am excited to see how it all plays out.
Ridiculously Deep Tight End Crop
WOW do we have a talented group of tight ends available in this year's draft! It's an insanely deep and talented crop that is capable of changing the landscape of the position across the league. Iowa features the top-two prospects in the group in T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, both who profile as first-round picks. The SEC has four prospects worthy of Day Two selections that project as quality starters with upside in Irv Smith Jr., Isaac Nauta, Jace Sternberger, Dawson Knox. And don't sleep on Kaden Smith and Dax Raymond as guys with starting potential. I've never been more floored by a tight end class with so much quality talent to consider at the position.