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Building A 2019 NFL Expansion Team, Part IV: 2019 NFL Draft

To finish off our “Building A 2019 NFL Expansion Team” series, it’s time to participate in the 2019 NFL Draft. If you missed Part I (City, Branding, Staff), Part II (The Expansion Draft), or Part III (Free Agency), check them out to see how we got this current roster for the Toronto Wolves:



QB: Sam Bradford // Mike White // Josh Dobbs

RB: Tevin Coleman // Jordan Howard // Rex Burkhead

FB: Alex Armah

WR: Phillip Dorsett // Chad Williams // Auden Tate

WR: DaeSean Hamilton // Javon Wims // Chad Beebe

TE: Josh Hill // Darren Fells // Jordan Leggett

LT: Cameron Fleming // Zach Crabtree

LG: Quinton Spain // Ethan Pocic

C: Bradley Bozeman

RG: Josh Kline // Ike Boettger

RT: Ryan Schraeder



DL: Gerald McCoy // Folorunso Fatukasi // John Atkins

DL: Bennie Logan // Grover Stewart

OLB: Charles Harris

ILB: Jordan Hicks

ILB: Mark Barron // Nate Gerry

OLB: Kareem Martin // Peter Kalambayi

CB: Eric Rowe

CB: Morris Claiborne // Jamal Agnew

CB: Jourdan Lewis // Captain Munnerlyn

S: Eric Berry

S: Reshad Jones // Marcus Allen


Special teams

K: Cody Parkey

P: Bradley Pinion

LS: James Winchester


2019 NFL Draft Picks


The draft will be as realistic as possible because I’m using my 2019 NFL Draft Big Board to make selections (so, there won’t be any cheating), and we will have the same picks—top of each round and extra selections in Round 2 through Round 7—that the Texans did as an expansion team in 2002. [Note: any trades made use common sense based on what happened in the real 2019 NFL Draft and must give a positive value to the established NFL team using the Jimmy Johnson pick value chart]


Rd. 1 (No. 1): Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

I thought Allen was the best player in the draft despite falling to No. 7 overall, and he’s the perfect fit for our roster as an explosive edge defender that will boost the entire defense. Besides getting after the quarterback (17.0 sacks last season), Allen can also drop back in coverage and is the ultimate chess piece with the ability to play off-ball linebacker if needed.


Rd. 2 (No. 34): A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

The offense could use a dominant No. 1 receiver, and that’s exactly what Brown projects to be as a polished route runner with plus size/speed and natural receiving skills. The former Ole Miss standout will have the offense run through him and should quickly become Sam Bradford’s favorite target both outside and in the slot.


*TRADE* Rd. 2 (No. 39): Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss 

SEA trades the No. 39 pick and No. 92 pick to TOR for the No. 51 pick and No. 67 pick

Left tackle is the biggest hole on the roster, so we need to be aggressive in getting our long-term starter there. In my eyes, Little was easily the best pure pass protector in the draft, and his presence on the blindside will help keep Bradford healthy. Plus, being between left guard Quinton Spain and tight end Darren Fells in the running game will hopefully help Little unlock his potential there.


Rd. 3 (No. 84): Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

We didn’t plan to double up at receiver on Day 2, but with Butler still on the board, the Wolves now have a very promising rookie duo. In his final season at Iowa State, Butler averaged a whopping 22.0 yards per reception on 60 grabs, including multiple highlight plays that suggest his issues with drops can be corrected.


Rd. 3 (No. 92): Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami

The health of Eric Berry is still a question mark, but I viewed Johnson as a first-round prospect, so he should hopefully be able to step into the starting lineup if needed. The leader of Miami’s “turnover chain” defense probably slipped to the sixth round in real life because of average athleticism, but he makes up for it with rare intelligence/instincts on the backend.


Rd. 4 (No. 106): Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

Jourdan Lewis and Captain Munerlyn give us two quality options to man the slot, but it’s important to draft best player available, and Love is a sticky cover corner that can also play outside. Just as importantly, Love is a tough defender that isn’t afraid to come up and make tackles, which will be key for a new franchise building an identity.


Rd. 4 (No. 119): Isaiah Prince, OT, Ohio State

While Toronto already has a couple capable right tackles (Ryan Schraeder and Cameron Fleming, the latter of whom will be the backup left tackle), Prince will be the successor at the position, and this draft has now given us our future bookends. Watch last year’s Michigan game to see how Prince can hold up in pass protection against NFL talent.


Rd. 5 (No. 143): Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State

Oruwariye has some inconsistencies that led to a fall in the draft, but all the traits to eventually be a shutdown perimeter corner—size (six-foot-one), speed (4.47 40-yard dash), and fluid hips (6.82 3-cone drill)—are there. The 23-year-old will have time to develop in what’s suddenly a deep group at the position.


Rd. 5 (No. 155): Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State

I feel very comfortable with Sam Bradford as the starting quarterback and Mike White as the backup, but McSorley—who was my No. 53 overall player in the draft—is too good a value to pass up here. The all-time winningest quarterback in Penn State history can be used in a Taysom Hill-like role to start his career, and he has the playmaking ability to win games off the bench.


Rd. 6 (No. 179): Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

Getting three wideouts in a single draft has seem to become more common in recent years because of the spread attacks in college allowing more players to shine, and Harmon is another well-built target to join A.J. Brown and Hakeem Butler.


Rd. 6 (No. 190): Lukas Denis, S, Boston College

A safety that can make plays all over the field, Denis adds even more versatility to a defense that already had plenty of it, and he can also be an impact player on special teams. Two years ago, Denis had seven interceptions at Boston College, and for his college career, he averaged an impressive 27.1 yards per interception return.


Rd. 7 (No. 221): Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA

Wilson was a big-time weapon down the seam last season for Chip Kelly’s offense (965 yards and 16.1 yards per reception), but he was surprisingly “Mr. Irrelevant” in the real 2019 NFL Draft. I like the downfield element he will be able to bring to pair with Josh Hill and Darren Fells at tight end.


Rd. 7 (No. 227): Te’Von Coney, LB, Notre Dame

Getting a third inside linebacker was important, and Coney has the potential to really stout against the run after racking up a combined 239 tackles and 21.0 tackles of loss over the past two seasons at Notre Dame. He could be a cheap replacement for Mark Barron in a couple years.


Rd. 7 (No. 259): Martez Ivey, G, Florida

He played left tackle for the Gators in 2018, but I think Ivey projects better as a guard at the next level. Either way, his experience at both spots is an added bonus for the Wolves as we look to get the best 53-man roster we possibly can in Year 1.


Final Results


To get the roster to 53, the following players have been released: QB Josh Dobbs, WR Chad Williams, WR Chad Beebe, WR Auden Tate, TE Jordan Leggett, OT Zach Crabtree, G Ike Boettger.


Salary cap: $188,200,000

Total payroll: $174,133,746 

Cap space: $14,066,254



QB: Sam Bradford // Mike White // Trace McSorley

RB: Tevin Coleman // Jordan Howard // Rex Burkhead // Alex Armah (FB)

WR: A.J. Brown // Kelvin Harmon

WR: Phillip Dorsett // Hakeem Butler

WR: DaeSean Hamilton // Javon Wims

TE: Josh Hill // Darren Fells // Caleb Wilson

LT: Greg Little // Cameron Fleming

LG: Quinton Spain // Martez Ivey

C: Bradley Bozeman // Ethan Pocic

RG: Josh Kline

RT: Ryan Schraeder // Isaiah Prince



DL: Gerald McCoy // Folorunso Fatukasi // John Atkins

DL: Bennie Logan // Grover Stewart

OLB: Josh Allen // Kareem Martin

ILB: Jordan Hicks // Nate Gerry

ILB: Mark Barron // Te’Von Coney

OLB: Charles Harris // Peter Kalambayi

CB: Eric Rowe // Amani Oruwariye

CB: Morris Claiborne // Julian Love // Jamal Agnew

CB: Jourdan Lewis // Captain Munnerlyn

S: Eric Berry // Jaquan Johnson

S: Reshad Jones // Marcus Allen // Lukas Denis


Special teams

K: Cody Parkey

P: Bradley Pinion

LS: James Winchester


Realistically, I think the Toronto Wolves could compete for a playoff spot this season based on the star power on defense, and on offense, the long-term upside looks really promising centered around a young core including Tevin Coleman (26), Jordan Howard (24), A.J. Brown (22), Hakeem Butler (23), and Greg Little (21). Overall, the 2019 season would come down to Sam Bradford’s health, but next offseason, drafting Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm would be our top priority.


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