But how many would have been first rounders if NFL general managers had a crystal ball and could have seen last season play out in full?
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report thinks there are three — Josh Allen, Jawaan Taylor, and Gardner Minshew.
2019 NFL Re-Draft
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE, Kentucky
Original Selection: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The New York Jets are the first team to choose differently than they did initially. This is because original selection Quinnen Williams isn’t the best fit for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ system.
”Quinnen is handicapped, in my opinion, by the defense. You put him in Philly, he’s Fletcher Cox,” former NFL edge-rusher Chuck Smith said, per Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com.
Williams was largely used as a space-eating tackle during his rookie campaign. What Williams’ aggressive scheme needs—and what the Jets lack—is a premier edge-rusher. Therefore, they’ll scoop up former Kentucky sack-artist Josh Allen here.
While Allen wasn’t quite as dominant as Bosa, he’s a fine consolation prize. He finished his inaugural campaign with 10.5 sacks.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Original Selection: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
Philip Rivers is out as the Los Angeles Chargers’ quarterback, but that doesn’t mean that L.A. should ignore its offensive line. The Chargers signed Bryan Bulaga and traded for guard Trai Turner in free agency, but they traded left tackle Russell Okung to get him.
Jawaan Taylor made starts at both right and left tackle in college, as did Bulaga. Adding Taylor gives the Chargers a pair of premier options to compete on the left side, with the loser kicking back to right tackle.
Or, in the event Los Angeles lands the left-handed Tagovailoa in the 2020 draft, the situation could be reversed.
Adding Taylor at least gives the Chargers some flexibility at the tackle spot. If they pass on a quarterback at six this year, they can grab a premier tackle prospect. If they take a signal-caller, they’re not going to have that chance.
Original selection Jerry Tillery, who had just 17 tackles and two sacks as a rookie, isn’t even a consideration here.
32. New England Patriots: Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State
Original Selection: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
New England replacing a Pro Bowl quarterback with a sixth-round surprise? Where have we heard this story before?
The Patriots lost quarterback Tom Brady to the Buccaneers in free agency this offseason. They have second-year man Jarrett Stidham and journeyman Brian Hoyer on the roster, but there’s a chance that neither is the long-term answer at quarterback. Washington State gunslinger Gardner Minshew—originally a sixth-round pick of the Jaguars—could be.
Is Minshew fully proven? Of course not. However, he showed a lot of potential in his first campaign, passing for 3,271 yards with 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Perhaps more importantly for New England, he showed the mentality of a winner.
”I think the biggest thing for me is that I helped my team win, and I did that better than any [first-round] rookie quarterback, so that gets me fired up,” Minshew said, per Garry Smits of the Florida Times-Union.
Minshew’s brash personality may not mesh with the Patriot Way, but his pocket presence, accuracy and the boulder-sized chip on his shoulder certainly do.
In all, we’d have come out with linebacker Devin Bush — a great player, but at the expense of all three of these guys?
I would be disgusted.