By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
April 25, 2019
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WCTV) -- The NFL Draft begins on Thursday and there are several local players who could go on the draft's first day, as well as four local teams with picks to make as they look ahead to 2019 and beyond.
Several players from Florida colleges, including FSU's Brian Burns and Florida's Jawaan Taylor, are projected to hear their names called.
Our four "local" teams - the Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers - all hold their picks inside the Top 14, with some speculation the Falcons could make a play to move up for some defensive help.
The first round picks each team has are:
Tampa Bay - #5 overall
Jacksonville - #7 overall
Miami - #13 overall
Atlanta - #14 overall
This story will be filled with updates and analysis as picks with local ties or interest are made. Enjoy night one!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Devin White (5th overall)
White recorded 62 solo tackles and assisted on 61 others last year to lead LSU on defense. He also forced two fumbles.
Tampa ranked 27th in the league in total yards allowed and White should be a nice addition to an increasingly bolstered linebacking corps.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Josh Allen (7th overall)
Josh Allen was available at #7 overall so the Jags pounced on one of the best linebackers in the draft. He led the Kentucky Wildcats with 88 total tackles this year and recorded 17 sacks.
Jacksonville was solid against the run, #19 in the league after allowing 4.3 yards a carry, but Allen will certainly improve the middle level. This is a win on all levels for Jags fans.
Miami Dolphins - Christian Wilkins (13th overall)
The third of our local teams has picked and they appear to have snipped the next team both on the board and in our local interests; the Falcons, with their selection of Christian Wilkins of Clemson.
Wilkins may have been the best member of Clemson's defensive line last year, logging 14 tackles for a loss (51 total) and 5.5 sacks. He'll be a great addition to the 'Phis defense but whooooo is going to be under center for them?
Atlanta Falcons - Chris Lindstrom (14th overall)
I'll admit my bias here, as a Falcons fan, but Atlanta going offensive line is a bit of a surprise. They were essentially expected to go defense, but with Wilkins getting snipped before them maybe they made a snap change of direction? I don't know.
But, that doesn't mean there isn't a place for Lindstrom in the Big Peach. He'll join an offensive line that was responsible for the 27th worst rushing attack in the league so there's plenty to work on there.
Carolina Panthers - Brian Burns (16th overall)
The first player from the state of Florida (or Georgia) is off the board as Florida State's Brian Burns goes to the Carolina Panthers with the 16th overall pick. For our full story on Burns' selection, click here.
Atlanta Falcons - Kaleb McGary (31st overall)
The Falcons did a bit of a surprise move and traded back into the first round to take yet another offensive lineman in Washington's Kaleb McGary.
Pro Football Focus ranks McGary as the highest-graded draft-eligible run blocker from a season ago. Internally, Atlanta clearly valued OL more so than any defensive position (where they were most exposed with injuries last year and have seen the most cap-related cuts this offseason) so it's still a bit of an interesting move.
The Falcons now don't have a pick until round four, 117 overall, so they really valued getting McGary as early as possible.