Sometimes during the NFL Draft process, us fans forget how important “fit” is for NFL teams when drafting. We look at the player for what exactly they are right now and not necessarily how they will fit on certain teams at the next-level. NFL teams shape their draft board both based on talent and how the prospects will fit within their respective schemes. We see some players rise or slide due to fit because teams value them differently. The first-round is important for getting premium talents, but equally as important for finding the right fit. Fit is as important to early success as overall talent in the NFL. So who were the best first-round fits of the 2019 NFL Draft?
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
- There’s not a better definition for a fit pick than Kyler Murray going first overall to the Arizona Cardinals. With Kliff Kingsbury coming from Texas Tech and bringing the air raid offense with him, the Cardinals knew they needed the ideal fit at QB to run their system. They traded away a potential franchise QB in Josh Rosen for 30 cents on the dollar because of the perfect fit Murray can provide. Despite a lack of size, Murray is as well equipped to run Kingsbury’s system as almost any QB in the league. The arm talent combined with the deep accuracy and elite mobility make Murray an absolute dynamic playmaker in this type of offense. Murray comes from Lincoln Riley’s system at Oklahoma which is similar to Kingsbury’s, both of them are Mike Leach disciples. Murray will provide an instant boost to this offense and gives Cardinals fans hope.
Pro Comparison: Russell Wilson
Kyler Murray is so clean mechanically and throws a beautiful ball. Easy deep ball placement for the score. Love his ability to push the ball downfield. pic.twitter.com/7cGP2IEEMh
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) April 3, 2019
Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers
- Ever since John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan came to San Francisco, there’s been hope and it might finally come to fruition thanks to them ending up with Nick Bosa second overall. The 49ers have been running a similar scheme to the Seahawks under DC Robert Saleh, but haven’t had the right pieces in place up front. DeForest Buckner is an All-Pro talent, but they needed the edge rushers that have made the Seahawks D so vaunted. First they traded for Dee Ford to play the LEO spot and then took Bosa to be their Michael Bennett. Bosa’s inside-outside ability as a pass rusher and strength to hold the point/set the edge vs the run makes him an ideal fit. He’s basically a hybrid 5-Tech-EDGE that gives the 49ers scheme versatility up front. The D-line in San Fran is absolutely stacked now and Bosa is playing the most important position.
Pro Comparison: Joey Bosa
Quinnen Williams, IDL, New York Jets
- The New York Jets have a young franchise QB in Sam Darnold, hired a brand new coaching staff, and spent a ton of money on talent in free agency. With all the new characters in their locker room, both on the roster and staff, they needed a defensive stud to lead by example and they got him with the third overall pick. Quinnen Williams was the best player in the 2019 NFL Draft and he’s both an ideal fit schematically in DC Greg Williams aggressive defense, as well as in the locker room. Williams is as safe/clean a prospect as you’ll find and was known for leading defensive meetings at Alabama. On the field he can slide right in at 3-Tech or 1-Tech with Leonard Williams and create mismatches. Q provides rare explosiveness off the snap and wiggle for an interior defensive lineman. He’s an All-Pro talent and leader.
Pro Comparison: Gerald McCoy
Good luck blocking Quinnen Williams. Combo of explosiveness, violent hands, wiggle, and motor make him a devastating interior pass rusher. pic.twitter.com/Y8SfLaqHWp
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) March 31, 2019
Ed Oliver, IDL, Buffalo Bills
- Every so often there’s a player and a team that just seem like a match made in heaven and then BOOM it actually happens, that was Ed Oliver and the Bills this year. Sean McDermott had the Bills defense as a top five unit in 2018, but they lacked a certain spice up front. Plug-in Ed Oliver at 3-Tech and that’s as spicy as it gets. Oliver is perfect next to either Star Lotulelei or Harrison Phillips. He provides elite athleticism on the inside that will translate right away to pass rush production. With no big time edge rusher, having Oliver on the inside is the exact boost this defense needs to take it up a notch. He’s a freak of nature and McDermott will cleanup his stance and have him dominating in no time. Oliver gives them another cornerstone along with Tre White, Tremaine Edmunds, and Matt Milano.
Pro Comparison: Geno Atkins
Devin Bush, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Trading the 20th overall pick, the 52nd overall pick, and a 2020 third-round pick for the 10th overall pick and using that to select an off-ball linebacker isn’t great value. Yet, it’s tough to find a better fit than Devin Bush to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers D hasn’t been the same since the loss of Ryan Shazier and what better way to replace an elite athlete with an aggressive playing style and instincts than with an elite athlete with an aggressive playing style and instincts. Bush can continue the storied history of linebacker play in Pittsburgh. He brings sideline-to-sideline speed with a knack for blowing up running backs. The man is relentless on and off the football field and can provide some major leadership to a recently shaky locker room. It won’t take long for Bush to be a major contributor and fan favorite in the Steel City.
Pro Comparison: Myles Jack
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington
- Not only did Washington not have to sell the farm to draft a franchise QB, but they got to watch a division rival overdraft Daniel Jones. The value of getting Dwayne Haskins at 15th overall is astonishing and may have won Washington the 2019 NFL Draft. Haskins was the ideal West Coast QB in this draft and the exact guy Jay Gruden needed to get Washington’s O rolling again. Washington and Haskins will be fun to watch with a strong O-line in front of him, a talented core of running backs, two uber athletic tight ends, and a young developing wide receiver group. His consistent ball placement on short to intermediate throws fit perfectly with the bread and butter of this passing attack. It’s an especially great fit thanks to the O-line, Haskins can get skittish when too much constant pressure comes. No team was a better fit for Haskins.
Pro Comparison: Matthew Stafford
Garrett Bradbury, C, Minnesota Vikings
- Certain offensive linemen have the ability to upgrade the entire O-line when inserted into the lineup. Quenton Nelson was that type of rare player in 2018 for the Colts and Garrett Bradbury can be that type of player for the Vikings. With O-line being by far the Vikings biggest need they got lucky Bradbury fell to them. He will be their starting center for the next decade and one of the best in the league. With his football IQ, short area quickness, clean technique, and ability to work to the second level, he’ll be exactly what Dalvin Cook and this run game need. He also allows them to roll with their five best O-linemen and a likely front five of Reiff-Kline-Bradbury-Elflein-O’Neill. It’s not the sexiest group, but Bradbury will have everybody churning as a unit and his ability to take over games from an IOL perspective is rare.
Pro Comparison: Ryan Kalil
The more I hear about Garrett Bradbury, the more I believe that the #Vikings would be getting one heck of a player in the 1st round if they chose him. League folks keep saying to just watch the Clemson tape. Here's clips from that game, and others: pic.twitter.com/ZOCV9Jwxn5
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) April 22, 2019
Darnell Savage Jr., DB, Green Bay Packers
- It’s taken about three years now, but it feels like the Packers rebuild of their secondary is finally complete. This offseason they added the final two pieces in safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage Jr. Some folks may have been surprised by the late rise into the first-round of Savage, but he was no doubt worth the 21st overall pick. Savage plays up to his last name with a balls to the wall intensity. He’s a rare explosive athlete at safety and loves to take peoples heads off with his aggressive playing style. But he’s not just an enforcer, he’s a fluid athlete in coverage with the ability to play single-high, nickel, or in a two-deep system. With the addition of Savage, it allows Amos to play a true strong safety role and Josh Jones to be a dime linebacker type. Savage is the chess piece the secondary needed.
Pro Comparison: Bob Sanders
Darnell Savage Jr. spends the entire Temple game making plays at or behind the LOS, but also comes up with a huge play in coverage. Sits on the route reading the QBs eyes, sees it and immediately breaks on it for the pick six. pic.twitter.com/WxEaaaH34w
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) December 27, 2018
Andre Dillard, OT, Philadelphia Eagles
- Leave it to Howie Roseman to wheel and deal into a draft steal who fits the team perfectly while also jumping in front of the team who desperately needed the player. Andre Dillard was the prize of the move and the poor Texans missed their chance to get him. Not only is Dillard an elite athlete, but he was the clear best pass protector in the 2019 NFL Draft. When he slid down the board, the Eagles pounced and got their left tackle of the future. Dillard is ready to play now, but have the opportunity to sit behind Jason Peters is ideal. He can learn from Peters and NFL coaching will help him improve as a run blocker. If Peters goes down again Dillard gives the Eagles an impressive backup. With his athleticism, footwork, and balance in pass pro he’s a great fit for the Eagles passing attack.
Pro Comparison: Jordan Gross
Jerry Tillery, IDL, Los Angeles Chargers
- Last season when the NFL overthought Derwin James the Chargers and DC Gus Bradley were the beneficiaries; James went onto be first-team All-Pro. This year the NFL let Jerry Tillery slide to the Chargers and Bradley again gets a freaky stud who fits perfectly into his defense. With a hole at 3-Tech it won’t take long for Tillery to enter the starting lineup. Sticking him on the inside next to Brandon Mebane with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram at EDGE is a scary thought. Tillery’s combo of explosiveness, length, and power would create even more mismatches for O-lines vs this D-line. There are questions about his consistency, but putting him with a DC like Bradley is best case scenario, he’ll always put Tillery in the best spot to win. Also having constant one-on-one matchups will be huge for him. The Chargers defense keeps getting richer with Tillery and Nasir Adderley.
Pro Comparison: Chris Jones
Jerry Tillery mugs this dude with an easy rip move and then ends Kyle Shurmur with a strip sack. After his #NFLCombine first-round seems likely. pic.twitter.com/jscqFFVw7c
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) March 6, 2019
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.