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Kyler Murray. Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, Raiders, NFL Draft

Editorials

Teams Most Likely to Spring 2019 NFL Draft Surprise

The 2019 NFL Draft is finally here and, with so much mystery still surrounding the top of the board, there could hardly more intrigue going into the first round.

With so much uncertainty around the opening 32 picks, this is a draft primed for some surprise trades and selections once proceedings get underway in Nashville.

But which teams are likely to be the architects of such surprise moves?

Here we look at five teams who could make some eyebrow-raising decisions in the opening round.

Arizona Cardinals

For weeks and months it has almost been considered a given that the Cardinals will shake up their quarterback room and select Kyler Murray first overall.

As recently as this week Arizona indicated it still did not know who would be the pick at the top of the draft, with Cardinals brass holding a final meeting to discuss the selection.

Did the content of that meeting shift the Cardinals towards taking a prospect other than Murray? It would be a stunner to hear another name called at this point but defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, arguably the best player in the draft, would make a lot more sense for them.

Oakland Raiders

With Jon Gruden – and first-time general manager Mike Mayock – at the helm of the operation, there is little room for assumption over what the Raiders will do with their three first-round picks.

Having already pulled off a deal for Antonio Brown this offseason, it would be in their nature to complete a blockbuster draft-day trade.

Gruden and Mayock reportedly removing scouts from the draft room will do little dispel talk of the Raiders doing something out of left-field. And, with Gruden said to be a huge admirer of Murray, Oakland making a push for the Heisman Trophy winner cannot be ruled out.

Washington Redskins

There is growing talk of the Redskins making a move into the top five to select a quarterback.

According to Grant Paulsen of NBC Sports, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has “taken over” the first round of the draft.

Snyder’s most recent heavy involvement in a draft saw Washington trade three first-round picks and a second-rounder to land Robert Griffin III. With the owner seemingly again playing an integral role once more, could the Redskins be the team that steals the headlines in the first round?

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have developed a reputation as a team that likes to trade out of the first round and, when they kept their pick last year, they surprised many by taking Rashaad Penny much earlier than most expected.

After trading Frank Clark to the Chiefs this week, the Seahawks now have two first-round picks (21 and 29), giving them the ammunition to do the opposite of what they have become known for.

If the Seahawks love a player enough to make a move to go up and get him, they would now appear to have the means to do so. However, John Schneider deciding to acquire a higher pick would go against everything we have to come to know about Seattle’s general manager.

Cleveland Browns

Who would bet against the team that has dominated the offseason making one last splash via a huge draft-day move?

Cleveland does not own a first-round pick after the Odell Beckham Jr trade, but there has been continual talk of them holding interest in Jeffery Simmons, an elite defensive tackle prospect who is expected by many to still go in the first round despite a torn ACL and off-the-field concerns.

Nobody expected John Dorsey to be able to pull off a deal for Beckham. If he truly has his sights set on Simmons, then there is every chance the Browns GM will be able to find a way to move back into the first round and get him.