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The start of the 2019 NFL pre-season is nearly upon us, and it starts with the college draft. The draft will start at 1 am tomorrow. To get you ready for the event, here is a rundown of what the draft is and what to expect.Starting in 1936, the NFL draft is where teams pick players coming out of college to sign for their team. The order of which teams get to pick first is dependent first on the outcome of the season before, with the weakest team getting the first overall pick and the Super Bowl Champions getting the final pick. This means that this year the 3-13 Cardinals will get the first overall pick, and the champion
Patriots will get pick number 32. Secondly, picks can be traded for other picks or players which is why Oakland has three picks in the first round and teams including Dallas and New Orleans have no picks in the first round. The draft lasts for 7 rounds with the same rules in place for all rounds. When people leave university, they’ll be hoping to get a job that can adequately pay back student loans. Players leaving university who get picked in the 1st round of the draft on Friday will be overnight millionaires. Last year’s first overall pick, Baker Mayfield, will earn over $33 million in his rookie contract alone, including a $22 million signing bonus. The draft this year will be held in Nashville, the home of the Tennessee Titans. With the draft explained, here are some of the major stories to look out for on Friday.
The Arizona Cardinals and the Number One Pick: The first pick is always the biggest event of draft night, all eyes will be on the 3-13 Arizona Cardinals when they go on the clock on Friday. It is highly expected that they will draft Kyler Murray, the Oklahoma quarterback, and 2019 Heisman Trophy winner. The interesting part of this pick is that if this move goes ahead, it will be the second year in a row that the Cardinals have selected a QB in the first round. Last year, the Cardinals traded up to select Josh Rosen at number 10. If Murray comes in, then it will be expected that Rosen is out, with talks of trading for a second or third round pick. Names involved include the New York Giants, Washington, and the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Raiders and their scouts: With three first round picks, the Raiders will have a lot to consider on the first night of the draft. However, it will not be their scouts doing the thinking as head coach Jon Gruden told his scouts last week to go home for the week and not be any further involved in this year’s draft. The reason seemingly being that Gruden and GM Mike Mayock do not have trust in the scouts hired by previous GM Reggie McKenzie. It is also expected that they plan to overhaul the scouting department this summer. With big rumours that Oakland plans to go big in the draft, Mayock and Gruden may
also be worried about potential leaks, no matter what the reasoning is, Oakland is a team to keep your eyes on in this draft.
Will the Giants draft a QB: The Eli Manning era is coming to an end in New York. The two Super Bowl wins seem a long way away. For the last few years, the Giants fan base has been calling for a future replacement. There have been worrying signs that current Giants QBs Lauletta and Tanney may not be able to replace Manning when retirement comes. However, GM Dave Gettleman has constantly emphasised the desire to push forward with Eli despite the disappointing performances on the field. Failure to draft a high-level QB in this draft and poor performance next season might make the GM seat very hot for Gettleman next year.
Snyder in charge in Washington: Washington have in past years been called the ‘Kardashians of the football world’ and it
does not look like this tag is going away at this year’s draft. According to reports, Washington owner Dan Snyder has “taken over the first round of the draft”, overriding the decision of the GM and head coach. The last time this was reportedly the case, Snyder made the infamous choice of trading up to take Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. Washington has denied these rumours, but it may worth keeping an eye to see if they trade up again on draft night.
Coverage of the 2019 NFL draft will start at 00:30 on Sky Sports Action. If you have NFL Game Pass then you can watch NFL Network’s coverage from midnight.