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2019 NFL redraft: Is Kyler Murray still No. 1?

WCG’s lead draft analyst tries out a redraft for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles Chargers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The exercise of going through and redrafting selections in the NFL Draft is a fun “what if?” game that messes with the idea of alternate football realities.

What if Tom Brady didn’t end up with the Patriots? What if the Raiders didn’t take JaMarcus Russell with the first pick in 2007? There are many draft picks over the years that have had major consequences on the NFL landscape, for better or worse.

I’ll be exploring a handful of recent drafts over the next few weeks, and I’ve already looked at the 2017 and 2018 drafts. That means it’s onto the 2019 NFL Draft, where superstar defensive linemen and stud receivers galore developed. With that in mind, does a star pass rusher usurp Kyler Murray as the top pick in this class? Let’s take a look.

Note: The draft order used for these selections consisted of the pre-draft order, not involving Draft Day trades. These picks don’t keep in mind future selections teams made to solve positions of need, and future redrafts on this site will not keep the picks from previous redrafts in mind.

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Original Pick: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

The Cardinals are coming off of a bad year, and Kyler tore his ACL towards the latter end of the 2022 season. That said, he’s still a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback who’s in at least the top half of starting quarterbacks around the league. Even if you don’t think he’s top 10, Arizona certainly felt vindicated enough in picking him to give him a 5-year, $230.5 million deal last July.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

Original Pick: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

If Bosa wasn’t going to go No. 1, there’s no shot he’d fall any farther than this. He’s the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and has had 43 sacks in his three healthy NFL seasons. One could easily argue he’s the best edge rusher in the game right now.

3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama

Original Pick: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama

Another pick staying the same? Boring! Williams is just coming off of a first-team All-Pro season in 2022 and has had 25 sacks in his last three seasons. I’m sure the Jets feel justified in their selecting him third overall in retrospect.

4. Las Vegas/Oakland Raiders: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State

Original Pick: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

Simmons has been a second-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in back-to-back seasons as of this writing, and he’s established himself as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. 13 defensive linemen were selected in Round 1 of the 2019 draft, and only three of them didn’t develop into at least above-average starters. The Raiders were one of those teams who missed out in real life, but they don’t in this redraft.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan

Original Pick: Devin White, LB, LSU

Though the Buccaneers made a good pick in White in real life, Crosby plays a more valuable position, has two Pro Bowls to his name and has been one of the league’s best sack artists immediately since entering the NFL.

6. New York Giants: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

Original Pick: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Deciding what to do here was especially tough, but perhaps my bias to not settle for average at quarterback shines here. Nonetheless, Burns is a two-time Pro Bowler with 38 sacks to kick off his NFL career, and he figures to have many seasons of tremendous play ahead of him.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Original Pick: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

Brown is a two-time Pro Bowler with 273 receptions, 4,491 receiving yards, 37 total touchdowns and a second-team All-Pro nomination to his name. The Jaguars failed to have a single receiver crack even 750 yards in 2018, so they would’ve killed to get this production out of a receiver in the 2019 draft.

8. Detroit Lions: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson

Original Pick: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Hockenson turned into a mighty fine player for the Lions, but Lawrence is one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL right now. The 2022 second-team All-Pro a behemoth who can stuff the run and has rare pass-rushing value for his size, as made evident by his 7.5 sacks at 342 pounds last year.

9. Buffalo Bills: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Original Pick: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

With Josh Allen in the fold in Buffalo, it’s time to get him a star receiver. Metcalf is a Pro Bowler who’s had 4,218 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns through his first four years, and his physical attributes speak for themselves.

10. Denver Broncos: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

Original Pick: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan (to Steelers)

Deebo is a versatile playmaker and a Pro Bowler who has big-play value written all over him. He and Courtland Sutton would form a talented young duo at receiver for the Broncos in this universe.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Elgton Jenkins, OG, Mississippi State

Original Pick: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

A two-time Pro Bowler through his first four seasons in the NFL with the ability to play every position along the offensive line? Something tells me the Bengals would’ve been drooling over that result in a lineman back in 2019 (or even after that).

12. Green Bay Packers: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State

Original Pick: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

The Gary pick certainly worked out for the Packers, but getting a wide receiver like Scary Terry at No. 12 is fantastic value. He’s had 4,281 receiving yards in four seasons with subpar quarterback play and is one of the best route-running artists in the game.

13. Miami Dolphins: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

Original Pick: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

Wilkins has been a damn good player for Miami, but the availability of Sweat here at this spot is a bit too enticing to pass up. He’s had 29 sacks in his first four seasons and seems to just be on the cusp of reaching that top tier of pass rushers.

14. Atlanta Falcons: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College

Original Pick: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College

Lindstrom has been a full-time starter for the Falcons since entering the NFL, and he’s coming off of a Pro Bowl year which saw him named second-team All-Pro. I have a feeling they’re happy staying put with this selection.

15. Washington Commanders: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Original Pick: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

I struggled to figure out where to put DJ in this redraft, but Washington seems like a fair landing spot. He’s not a star quarterback by any means, but he’s a good enough starter to elevate Washington’s roster much better than anybody they’ve had after Kirk Cousins.

16. Carolina Panthers: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

Original Pick: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

Burns was never going to fall to No. 16 in this redraft, but the Panthers still select a talented edge rusher. Gary has 15.5 sacks in his last 25 games, and it seems like his best football is still ahead of him.

17. New York Giants: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

Original Pick: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson

The Giants end up with a completely different defensive tackle in Oliver compared to what they actually got in Lawrence, but they still get a talented player for their interior, nonetheless.

18. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

Original Pick: Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State

He’s not the flashiest defender out there, but Wilkins has been a valuable asset for the Dolphins since entering the NFL and would be a good addition to Minnesota’s defensive line in this redraft.

19. Tennessee Titans: Devin White, LB, LSU

Original Pick: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State

White has a Super Bowl, a Pro Bowl and a second-team All-Pro nomination to his name through his first four seasons in the NFL. The Titans miss out on Simmons, but this is a strong consolation prize.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo

Original Pick: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa (to Broncos)

The Steelers turn out to be pretty happy with Johnson, who was originally their third-round pick but has turned into their de facto WR1 and made a Pro Bowl appearance in 2021.

21. Seattle Seahawks: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

Original Pick: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland (to Packers)

Allen falls a bit down the board in this redraft, but he’s combined for 25 sacks in the three seasons he’s been healthy for. He’s a valuable pass rusher who would’ve be a nice addition to Seattle’s defensive line that faced a tad bit of instability in 2019.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Original Pick: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State (to Eagles)

Jacobs is one of the best running backs in the game at this stage, especially after leading the league with 1,653 rushing yards in 2022. Just imagine him with Lamar Jackson in the same backfield.

23. Houston Texans: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Original Pick: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

The Texans hadn’t quite been able to figure out the tight end position before they signed Dalton Schultz this offseason. Acquiring Hockenson, who’s one of the best tight ends in the league, would fix that for them.

24. Las Vegas/Oakland Raiders: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Original Pick: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

The Raiders were incredibly thin at the wide receiver position heading into the 2019 draft. Hollywood has seemingly been on the edge of stardom, and though he hasn’t reached it quite yet, he’s still been a quality speed weapon at the NFL level.

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

Original Pick: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (to Ravens)

Gardner-Johnson had a great 2022 season with the Eagles. This selection gives Philadelphia a few more cheap years of him, which I’m sure they’d be happy with in this hypothetical.

26. Indianapolis Colts: Dre’Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State

Original Pick: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State (to Commanders)

Jones just signed a big deal with the Seahawks and did a great job of generating pressure up the middle for the Broncos, and the Colts were in need of some help along the interior defensive line at the time.

27. Las Vegas/Oakland Raiders: Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State

Original Pick: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

The Raiders ended up with Josh Jacobs in the actual 2019 draft, but Sanders is a nice consolation prize. He’s a Pro Bowler who’s been an efficient back over the course of his NFL career.

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

Original Pick: Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame

The Chargers got it right picking an athletic defensive tackle in 2019, but they take a different one in the redraft.

29. Seattle Seahawks: Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn

Original Pick: L.J. Collier, EDGE, TCU

Dean has had 7 interceptions and 41 pass deflections over the last four seasons, and he has only had one season with an allowed completion percentage rate above 60%. He would be a great addition to a Seahawks secondary looking to replace the Legion of Boom.

30. Green Bay Packers: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

Original Pick: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia (to Giants)

Bryan Bulaga would be on his way out the next year, and McGary has really come into his own over the years at right tackle. He wouldn’t start right away in this scenario, but as a long-term play, this would be a good pick for the Packers.

31. Los Angeles Rams: T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin

Original Pick: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

Edwards rose from becoming an undrafted free agent to starting the last three seasons at linebacker for the Eagles before cashing in on a new contract with the Bears this offseason. The Rams haven’t been able to find an answer at off-ball linebacker; this would be their chance.

32. New England Patriots: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson

Original Pick: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Because of course this ends with Renfrow becoming a New England Patriot.