After months of buildup, the day of the 2019 NFL Draft is finally here.
The entire football world will be watching Nashville on Thursday night and throughout the three-day selection process.
The futures of teams and individual players alike will be greatly altered by the action that takes place in the vibrant Music City.
From the questions surrounding Kyler Murray and the possibility of the undersized quarterback going No. 1 overall to the Cardinals straight through the Patriots final selection, the first round promises to be as exciting and unpredictable as any in recent memory.
While Murray and the other quarterbacks may be the biggest story of the draft from a national perspective, in New England it’s all about what Bill Belichick will do not only with the 32nd selection but also the draft-high 12 picks that the Patriots own throughout the rest of the three-day affair.
As the final hours wind down to Commissioner Roger Goodell taking to the mic – Do the annual April boos follow him to Nashville? – here are a few predictions as to how things might go for the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots over the next three days of true draft fun!
What do you consider to be the Patriots three biggest needs, in order, heading into the 2019 NFL Draft?
Fred Kirsch: Wide receiver, tight end, defensive line.
Paul Perillo: Tight end, wide receiver, safety.
Andy Hart: Tight end, wide receiver, defensive line. New England certainly needs to add young pass catchers to the depth chart, even if the Patriots also try to piece things together with veteran newcomers.
Erik Scalavino: Tight end, wide receiver, defensive end/pass rusher.
Is the Patriots first selection more likely to come at 22, 32 or 42 overall?
AH: 22. It’s all about value. When you already have 12 picks, including multiples in the second and third rounds, you move up to grab one of the limited number of true first-round values on the board.
Will the Patriots draft a quarterback in the first three rounds of the draft? If yes, who?
FK: Yes, Clayton Thorson, Northwestern.
AH: Yup and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham is the guy.
ES: Yes, Will Grier of West Virginia
Regardless of where selected, name one player you believe will become a Patriot on draft weekend?
FK: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
PP: Washington safety Taylor Rapp
AH: I couldn’t decide between Miami DE Joe Jackson, San Diego State TE Kahale Warring or Notre Dame WR Miles Boykin. So I won’t. Triples my chances of being right!
ES: Iowa State WR Hakeem Butler
Will New England make a trade involving a veteran player on draft weekend?
PP: I’m going with history and will say yes.
AH: Yes, please. Maybe a wide receiver like Nelson Agholor or Mohamed Sanu?
Who will end up being the best player from this year’s draft?
FK: Jonah Williams, tackle, Alabama
PP: LSU cornerback Greedy Williams
AH: Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa.
ES: Zion Williamson… oh, you mean the NFL Draft? No idea.
Who will end up being the biggest bust in this year’s draft?
FK: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (they can’t all be good).
PP: Mississippi wide receiver DK Metcalf
AH: Predictions are best served bold. So I’ll go with Kyler Murray. I have plenty of doubts about him and if he goes No. 1 overall to a team that trades way another would-be franchise QB he’s primed to disappoint.
ES: Drew Lock… with a surname like that, it’s going to be very difficult to live up to expectations.