NFL Draft 2019: Five best first-round fits
This might not be the flashiest of NFL drafts, but a bunch of teams can get a whole lot better at spots of need in the first round.
While there are not a lot of great quarterbacks — some pundits are saying none would go among the top three taken last year — there are offensive linemen and interior defenders galore this season.
Those names will not incite riots in football towns, but they will make teams better where they need to be.
Here are five great fits in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft:
Oakland Raiders, Number four: Josh Allen, OLB/DE Kentucky
Allen might just be the best player in this draft. He has got good size (6-5, 262) and even better production (31.5 sacks, 17 in 2019).
The Raiders are completely without pass-rushing talent (ahem…Khalil Mack) tallying just 13 sacks as a team in 2018, which was 17 less than any other roster in the NFL.
Allen both fits a need — and if he is on the board at number four — he will likely be the best talent available. It is a win-win.
Detroit Lions, Number eight: Jonah Williams, OT/OG Alabama
Matthew Stafford is the sixth-highest paid quarterback in the NFL, but he is getting protected like he is expendable (40 sacks in 2018, 47 in 2017, 37 in 2016). His contract has two more years before a potential opt-out, and the Lions better protect him if they want to keep him.
Williams would do just that, whether it is at guard or tackle. He is physically gifted and highly productive as well, earning third-team All-American honours in 2017 and first team in 2018.
This is the man to protect Stafford.
Denver Broncos, Number 10: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State
John Elway loves his big pocket quarterbacks and Haskins is just that.
The Ohio State quarterback struggles to move a bit, especially when he gets pressured up the middle, but no QB likes pressure up the middle, so that is not too big of a deal.
Joe Flacco has three years left on his deal through 2021, but Haskins could be great insurance if the veteran gets hurt or simply does not produce. The Broncos need a quarterback of the future and Haskins would be exactly what Elway would want.
Carolina Panthers, Number 16: Brian Burns, OLB/DE Florida State
For a team with a defensive coach who really bases much of their identity off toughness and stopping opponents' offenses, the Panthers struggled making opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable last season.
Carolina tallied just 35 sacks on the year, which was 27th in the NFL, and they need some help with the pass rush off the edge. And with the move to a more hybrid system which needs some versatility, Brian Burns would give it just that.
Burns can play outside linebacker or defensive end and would give the Panthers a pass rusher they can likely rely on early.
Indianapolis Colts, Number 26: Marquise Brown, WR Oklahoma
This is where both a prisoner-of-the-moment situation could come into play as well as drafting for need when a team probably should not. The Colts will probably be incredibly tempted to take D.K. Metcalf in this situation but it is just too high. He is stiff in his route-running and is not the quickest guy in the world. Add that to his injury history and this is simply too soon to take him.
Brown, on the other hand, gives Andrew Luck another reliable weapon that not even he can out-throw, and in Frank Reich's offense he would be a good fit as well. Add that to the fact he is valued in the late first round rather than the early second, and he is a perfect fit for Indy.