As is often the case, the leading teams in the rankings to win the Super Bowl didn’t get to select from the absolute cream of the crop. This year, however, even fewer favored teams were able to select a player in the first round of the draft. Super Bowl finalist, the Los Angeles Rams, didn’t pick until 61st overall, the Kansas City Chiefs had to wait for the backend of the second at 56th and 63rd, and the New Orleans Saints – who Business Insider rates as the best team coming into the season – didn’t pick until 48th overall.
Among the leading contenders remaining, only the Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Los Angeles Chargers were present among the pick on day one. So, which of the top new talents joining these teams has the best shot at winning the Super Bowl in the first time of asking?
Since Bill Belichick came into the fold in 2000, the New England Patriots have only picked within the top ten of the first round twice but have regularly found top-class, Pro Bowl-worthy quality later on day one. Now, with the very last pick of the first round, the Pats might just have drawn another great talent in N’Keal Harry.
Harry comes in as the perfect complement to number one receiver Julian Edelman, with size, strength, and speed that can stretch the play and keep the defense from locking down the front and on Edelman across the middle or any of the running backs trying to break through the backfield. Once again, the Patriots are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, and while the NFL Picks advise caution by backing them to win the conference, they are still the frontrunners to win it all.
If he’s fit and gets a grasp of the wild Belichick playbook before the season starts, Harry should be a regular starter in the Patriots offense and could be pivotal in a post-Rob Gronkowski world.
It’s been a tough time for quarterback Carson Wentz, with injuries all-but holding him out of any postseason action. Now, the Eagles are without his Super Bowl-winning backup, Nick Foles, so they need Wentz to stay fit. To help with this, their superb offensive line has been given some A-grade support.
Over each of the last three seasons, the Eagles’ offensive line has landed in the top ten in pass and run blocking with Pro Football Focus, with the football statisticians ranking the unit as the best in the NFL coming into 2019. To the group of Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson, the Eagles added Andre Dillard with the 22nd pick. He is expected to act as back-up to the aging Peters, filling in if the 192-game veteran needs a rest or picks up an injury.
Jerry Tillery is joining a decent defensive line bookended by the menacing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The Los Angeles Chargers weren’t the strongest up the middle, however, with the departure of Darius Philon emphasizing the line’s lack of depth. The only issue with Tillery so far has been his offseason shoulder surgery.
Having picked up the shoulder injury in his last season with Notre Dame, the surgery was necessary to ensure that Tillery is ready to upgrade the defensive line with the size, speed, and skill that warranted his 28th overall selection. The rookie practiced in pads for the first time on August 11, and the Los Angeles Times reports him already showing flashes of the ability that got him selected on day one.
Of the three, Harry looks the most likely to win the Super Bowl this season, especially as Tillery may have to face the Pats in the postseason if he hopes to achieve glory at the first time of asking. As for Dillard, a lot will rely on Wentz’s ability to survive the season, but hopefully, the rookie O-liner will be able to assist in this mission.