NFL

Teams That Control How The First Round Will Unfold

The draft is a sensitive process which can change based on how different teams have their big boards and what their needs are. If a team’s favorite edge or QB is passed up on they may make the move up to ensure they get their guy. Some teams with multiple picks and uncertainty surrounding their pick will make the draft that much more interesting. Here are the teams that play a major role in how the draft will ultimately play out.

Arizona Cardinals:

This one is solely based on Kyler Murray. The Cardinals hold the key to the way that the rest of the draft. If the Cardinals do indeed go Kyler Murray, the plan changes for teams in need of a QB as Josh Rosen would become available and is still on his rookie deal and was highly thought of coming out of UCLA. Teams like Washington and Miami would immediately pick up the phone to get talks going with the Cards around Rosen who will most likely go for a second round pick and brings along his cheap rookie deal. If the Cards go against the countless reports and take Quinnen Williams or Nick Bosa at 1, it would leave the 9ers or Jets in a much better position to trade back if they would rather accumulate picks than take either Bosa or WIlliams. The Jets have been trying feverishly to trade back and the availability of Kyler would help them out tremendously. Kyler’s availability would of interest to Oakland as Gruden seems to be all in on Murray. The decision by the Cardinals to pass or take Murray will have a major ripple effect on the outlook of the draft, as it either makes Haskins the lone top prospect left or makes Rosen the most coveted trade target and allows Washington, or Miami to be more flexible with their draft plans.

Oakland Raiders:

The Raiders have their footprint all over the first round. After dealing both Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, they have picks 4, 24, and 27. The intrigue is at 4. With new reports coming out that they may take Haskins at 4, if the Raiders are interested in a QB it shakes up the entire first round leaving teams clamoring to trade up to 3 to secure either Haskins or Kyler. This is a special year though, there is not much clarity surrounding the order of which teams have prospects especially at quarterback. Haskins and Murray seem to be the consensus top two guys but some have Daniel Jones or Drew Lock high on their boards, but if the Giants or Redskins are in on Haskins they will be left to choose from either Lock or Jones. It is also known throughout the league that Gruden and the front office loves Kyler Murray which automatically connects Murray to Oakland if Arizona does pass on the dual threat QB.

Pick 4 is not all about a quarterback though. Oakland may look to use the fourth pick on Oliver, Quinnen or Devin White. If the Jets pass on Josh Allen and take Oliver, the Raiders would run to the podium to take Quinnen Williams or even Devin White leaving Josh Allen to possibly fall to the Giants or further if the Giants go with a QB. The Bucs seem to be all in on Devin White, which can leave Allen left out.

With two other picks in the latter end of the first round, they still have an impact on later prospects such as Josh Jacobs, Byron Murphy, Greedy Williams or Deandre Baker. If the Raiders do go with Josh Jacobs at 24, it will leave the Eagles in need of a back still. The Raiders may also take the last of the string of first round corners in Greedy, Baker and Murphy as corners are likely to go off the board starting with Pittsburgh at 20. If they want to address the need in the secondary, they will need to do so with either pick 24 or 27.

And of course with three picks in the first round they have all the chance in the world to trade up and shake up the draft if they love a particular prospect.

New York Giants and the New York Jets:

The pair of New York teams play a pivotal part in the draft. The Jets have made it known throughout the draft process how badly they would like to move back in the draft to get back some picks that they gave up in the trade with the Colts that landed them Sam Darnold. In the trade up they lost three second rounders, two of which would have been in this year’s draft. With gaping holes left at Corner, Center, and Edge left they will definitely be looking to move back for extra picks as they only have 6 in total and would have to wait until pick 68 to pick again after picking at 3. The desire to trade back leaves the door open for a trade in the top five for a quarterback, or even Quinnen Williams who many see as the number one player in the draft.

The third pick is the first point in the draft where things get interesting. There seems to be a consensus that the Cardinals will end up taking Kyler Murray while the 49ers will stay at 2 and take Nick Bosa. The Jets on the other hand would love to trade down, but have also been connected to Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen and much more recently Ed Oliver. If they do stay at three, it will be interesting to see who they end up taking. Will they draft with need in mind and take Josh Allen or go best player available on their board with Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver to give Leonard Williams some help.

There has been a ton of speculation on how the Giants will attack this draft. They shocked the world when they dealt star wideout Odell Beckham to the Browns which got them pick 17 to play with along with the pick they already had at 6.
Since Gettleman landed the job as GM, he has done his best to dismantle the defense. Gettleman traded away Damon “Snacks” Harrison to the Lions for a fifth rounder, dealt JPP to the Buccaneers for a fourth round pick while allowing division rival Washington to sign Landon Collins this offseason. The Giants have massive needs across the defense and, of course, have the looming question of when they will draft someone to eventually take over for Eli Manning under center.

At 6, there have been rumblings that they are leaning toward taking a player on the edge from this deep draft class. Gettleman has made it clear that it clear that he believes Manning still has solid years left in the tank, and has never been keen on taking a signal caller with their top ten pick. If the Giants do go the route of an edge rusher and take Rashan Gary, Montez Sweat, Ed Oliver or even Brian Burns they would immediately be in the running for Daniel Jones as their guy at 17. Reports surfaced that a team has Daniel Jones as their top ranked quarterback with many pointing to the Giants as that team. If the Giants play it safe and take their guy, Jones at 6, there would be a fall for Dwayne Haskins and possibly bring Drew Lock as a reality in the round 1 conversation much more.

The offensive line should be not be out of the question either with their offensive line not yet solidified. The addition of a Jawaan Taylor or Cody Ford would turn the offensive line into a strength after being brutal this past year. Saquon, the reigning offensive rookie of the year, would be even more scary out of the backfield and would afford Manning more time in the pocket.

With Gettleman calling the shots you never really know what the Giants are gonna do. Will they truly roll with Eli for this season, or will they go with the future of the franchise at 6. The Giants are a hard team to predict, and the ripple effect of their picks is massive.

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