With the first round of 2019’s NFL Draft complete, let’s take a quick look at the players selected in the first round.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 1, Pick 5 – LB Devin White, LSU
The Bucs continue a positive offseason with a stellar pick at #5 overall. Arguably the best Linebacker in the draft, though some lead to Michigan’s Devin Bush who was selected tenth overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. White is one of the biggest playmakers in this year’s draft and while it was no mystery that he would end up in Tampa Bay, it’s a pick we didn’t want to see. The Saints must now play against Devin White and Deion Jones two times each per season (barring injury). White allows the Bucs who lost Kwon Alexander this season to return a very good second level next season.
White is a 6’0″ 237-pound man of a football player that is an undisputed leader on the field. He’s a great communicator with a ton of passion and dedication to his game. He’ll grow well with Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles in the NFL. He should become an immediate starter with Alexander gone and the unknown health concerns of fellow LSU Tiger Kendell Beckwith. White should be a huge difference maker for the revamping Bucs.
Round 1, Pick 14 – OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
Round 1, Pick 31 – OT Kaleb McGary, Washington
The Flacons go with a curious one here selecting PFF’s #1 rated Guard int he draft. The player is a good one, however selecting him at 14 overall was likely due to concern he’d be taken soon after if they tried to trade back. Despite how good and desired Lindstrom might have been though, the Falcons have some undeniable needs on the defensive side of the ball that they had lots of potential selections available to them to address. The Falcons allowed the fifth most total yards allowed by a defense in the league and were bottom-10 in passing yards, rushing yards, and points allowed.
Atlanta fans didn’t seem to know how to react when Lindstrom was selected and a photo of him rooting on the Patriots during the Falcons’ infamous 28-3 Super Bowl fold. The Falcons weren’t done with their questionable choices as they traded their second and third round selections to get back into the bottom of the first round to select Washington’s OT Kaleb McGary. McGary was the 6th-rated Tackle on The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s list and PFF’s 65th overall prospect. The question mark, aside from ignoring defense again, was that they selected McGary while Jawann Taylor and Cody Ford were still available.
After Free Agency, the Falcons now have the league’s second-highest spending amount along the offensive line at $41.7M (26.32% of their total salary) according to Spotrac.com. Despite all of that spending, to spend two first-round selections on that same positional group is well… concerning. On top of that, the Falcons currently now no longer have a second or third round selection but do have two fourth- and fifth-rounders.
Round 1, Pick 16 – EDGE Brian Burns, FSU
I like this selection for the Panthers a lot. They get an edge rusher at 6’4″ and 249 pounds. The Panthers effectively got someone to come in and be on the edge what Julius Peppers once was. Carolina has severely lacked a pass rush for the past couple of seasons tying for 26th fewest sacks in the league last year. Burns is a quick and long edge rusher who compiled 24 sacks and 39.5 tackles for a loss in his time as a Seminole. He’s got great hands and will continue to develop his pass rushing moves as he gets stronger.
Panthers make a selection here that helps improve their defense ahead of selecting again tomorrow at 47 overall where they should be able to grab another impact player.