The Bears made a big splash last season in acquiring Khalil Mack, but that left Chicago shorthanded in this year’s draft. Nevertheless, the Bears managed to pick up a couple of players who could make a quick impact in 2019 in David Montgomery, who has the potential of being a three-down running back, and possession receiver Riley Ridley. Chicago already had a strong defense and any addition to the offense Is helpful.
Picks Round 3 – RB David Montgomery, Iowa State Round 4 – WR Riley Ridley, Georgia Round 6 – CB Duke Shelley, Kansas State Round 7 – RB Kerrith Whyte Jr., FAU Round 7 – CB Stephen Denmark, Valdosta State
Minnesota Vikings, Sept. 15 & Dec. 23
Everyone knew the Vikings needed to improve their offensive line – even the Vikings – so it was no surprise when Minnesota grabbed the top-ranked center in the first round and added depth along the line in later picks. The Vikings had a whopping 12 draft picks, but nine of those came on Day 3. Beyond top pick Garett Bradbury there might not be much help in 2019, but Minnesota positioned itself with a few prospects for down the line.
Picks Round 1 – C Garrett Bradbury, NC State Round 2 – TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama Round 3 – RB Alexander Mattison, Boise State Round 4 – G Dru Samia, Oklahoma Round 5 – LB Cameron Smith, USC Round 6 – DT Armon Watts, Arkansas Round 6 – S Marcus Epps, Wyoming Round 6 – T Oli Udoh, Elon Round 7 – S Kris Boyd, Texas Round 7 – WR Dillon Mitchell, Oregon Round 7 – WR Olabisi Johnson, Colorado State Round 7 – LS Austin Cutting, Air Force
Denver Broncos, Sept. 22
If you close your eyes and imagine just for a moment, it’s not hard to imagine Green Bay having Denver’s draft. The Broncos added one of the top tight ends, a highly regarded tackle, a quarterback who the Packers brought in for a visit, a defensive tackle, a pass rusher and a wide receiver. Of all of them, tight end Noah Fant figures to be playing a role when Denver plays the Packers. Quarterback Drew Lock, taken in the second round, could be sitting behind Joe Flacco at this point in the season, however. Either way, Packers fans will have a lot of opportunity to compare draft picks (and what could have been).
Philadelphia is the rare team which hopes it won’t need to play a couple of its draft picks. The Eagles traded up to get tackle Andre Dillard, who is expected to back up veteran Jason Peters in 2019. Philly’s last pick, a fifth-rounder, was spent on quarterback Clayton Thorson. If he’s starting it means Carson Wentz – and the Eagles – are in trouble. Expect the Eagles’ second-round picks, a running back and wide receiver, to contribute, but this draft was more about 2020.
Picks Round 1 – T Andre Dillard, Washington State Round 2 – RB Mike Sanders, Penn State Round 2 – WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford Round 4 – DE Shareef Miller, Penn State Round 5 – QB Clayton Thorson
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Dallas Cowboys, Oct. 6
Dallas had no first-round pick due to last year’s trade for Amari Cooper and six of its eight picks came on Day 3. None of that bodes well for having impact players in 2019. The Cowboys looked to fortify both lines with their second- and third-round selections.
Picks Round 2 – DT Trysten Hill, Central Florida Round 3 – G Connor McGovern, Penn State Round 4 – RB Tony Pollard, Memphis Round 5 – CB Michael Jackson, Miami Round 5 – DE Joe Jackson, Miami Round 6 – S Donovan Wilson, Texas A&M Round 7 – RB Mike Weber, Ohio State Round 7 – DE/LB Jalen Jelks, Oregon
USA TODAY SportsBrian Spurlock
Detroit Lions, Oct. 14 & Dec. 29
Tight end T.J. Hockenson was the Packers’ first-round pick in many mock drafts. However, Green Bay never had a chance to select him as Detroit nabbed Hockenson first. Now, Packers fans can only wonder “what if” for the next few years, good or bad. Detroit then fortified its mediocre defense in the next four rounds.
Picks Round 1 – TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa Round 2 – LB Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii Round 3 – S Will Harris, Boston College Round 4 – DE Austin Bryant, Clemson Round 5 – CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State Round 6 – WR Travis Fulgham, Old Dominion Round 6 – RB Ty Johnson, Maryland Round 7 – TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia Round 7 – DT P.J. Johnson, Arizona
USA TODAY SportsChristopher Hanewinckel
Oakland Raiders, Oct. 20
Armed with three first-round picks, thanks to last year’s trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, Oakland selected Clelin Ferrell a little higher than most people expected he’d go and also selected the only running back of the first round. The Raiders used the majority of their picks to help what was the league’s worst defense in 2018. How much will it all help? Well, with these additions plus their trade for wide receiver Antonio Brown, it’s hard to think the Raiders will be worse than their 4-12 record last year. We just don’t know how much better – but a lot will hinge on how well those three first-rounders adapt to the NFL.
The Chiefs had the best record in the AFC last year but have had a tumultuous offseason. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill could (should) be done in Kansas City (if not the NFL) and the Chiefs also let loose two of their top pass-rushers in Dee Ford and Justin Houston. Also, K.C. had no first-round pick and just six selections overall (three of which were in the sixth and seventh rounds) to help plug these holes. Second-round selection Mecole Hardman, in theory, will fill Hill’s role. Safety Juan Thornill could be a steal in the second round, but at first glance it doesn’t look like Kansas City did too much to help the cause in 2019. Of course, the Chiefs still have Pat Mahomes, so …
Picks Round 2 – WR Mecole Hardman, Georgia Round 2 – S Juan Thornhill, Virginia Round 3 – DT Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois Round 6 – CB Rashad Fenton, South Carolina Round 6 – RB Darwin Thompson, Utah State Round 7 – G Nick Allegretti, Illinois
Los Angeles Chargers, Nov. 3
The Chargers had one of the better defenses last season (sixth in the AFC in points allowed) and they look to be even better in 2019. Los Angeles used three of its first four picks on defensive players, including second-round choice safety Nasir Adderley, who had been mocked by many to go in the first round (and some had him going to the Packers).
The Panthers needed help on the line on both sides of the ball, so it wasn’t a surprise to see them selected two pass-rushers – including top pick Brian Burns, who was thought to be a possibility for Green Bay – and an offensive tackle among their first four picks. However, going with quarterback Will Grier in the third round was a bit of a head-scratcher and perhaps doesn’t bode well for what Carolina thinks of the health of Cam Newton, who is coming off shoulder surgery. Certainly the Packers wouldn’t mind seeing Grier under center come November.
Picks Round 1 – DE/OLB Brian Burns, Florida State Round 2 – OT Greg Little, Mississippi Round 3 – QB Will Grier, West Virginia Round 4 – DE/OLB Christian Miller, Alabama Round 5 – RB Jordan Scarlett, Florida Round 6 – OT Dennis Daley, South Carolina Round 7 – WR Terry Godwin, Georgia
USA TODAY SportsChristopher Hanewinckel
San Francisco 49ers, Nov. 24
The 49ers already had what was shaping up to be one of the better defensive lines in the league. The addition of Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick makes it a potential nightmare for offensive lines – as long as Bosa can stay healthy. Lacking offensive firepower at receiver, San Francisco hoped Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, its second- and third-round picks, can make an immediate impact, although both seem to have similar roles. As far as taking a punter in the fourth round … ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Picks Round 1 – DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State Round 2 – WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina Round 3 – WR Jalen Hurd, Baylor Round 4 – P Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah Round 5 – LB Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas Round 6 – TE Kaden Smith, Stanford Round 6 – OT Justin Skule, Vanderbilt Round 6 – CB Tim Harris, Virginia
New York Giants, Dec. 1
There was perhaps no more controversial pick in the draft than the Giants taking quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. He’s likely slotted to back up veteran Eli Manning, but by December, and with New York likely out of a playoff chase, it could well be Jones behind center when it meets up with the Packers. The Giants concentrated on beefing up their defense otherwise and they seemingly did a good job of this, especially with two other first-round picks (one of which they traded back into the round to grab).
Picks Round 1 – QB Daniel Jones, Duke Round 1 – DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson Round 1 – CB Deandre Baker, Georgia Round 3 – EDGE Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion Round 4 – CB Julian Love, Notre Dame Round 5 – LB Ryan Connelly, Wisconsin Round 5 – WR Darius Slayton, Auburn Round 6 – CB Corey Ballentine, Washburn Round 7 – OT George Asafo-Adjei, Kentucky Round 7 – DT Chris Slayton, Syracuse
Washington Redskins, Dec. 8
Like the Giants, Washington went with a quarterback in the first round. Except the Redskins have a more logical opening at QB than New York (was anyone really inspired by Case Keenum or Colt McCoy)? The opinions on Haskins from draft experts varied, but we should know a lot more about his NFL game come December. Washington also took a big swing by drafting edge rusher Montez Sweat, yet another player sometimes mocked to the Packers, who should add another pass-rusher to complement with veteran Ryan Kerrigan. There’s a chance that fourth-round pick Bryce Love could be ready to play by the Green Bay game as well. Washington, which needs a lot of help coming off a mediocre 2018, likely hopes so, at least.
Picks Round 1 – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State Round 1 – DE/OLB Montez Sweat, Mississippi State Round 3 – WR Terry McLaurin, Ohio State Round 4 – RB Bryce Love, Stanford Round 4 – G Wes Martin, Indiana Round 5 – C Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama Round 5 – LB Cole Holcomb, North Carolina Round 6 – WR Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State Round 7 – CB Jimmy Moreland, James Madison Round 7 – EDGE Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State