What a draft it was!
After a record-setting 40 trades, some mind boggling picks and some Josh Rosen drama, the 2019 NFL Draft has officially come to a close.
Of course, that means that it is time to pick the winners and losers as well as hand out some way-too-early grades.
The Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans all appeared to have great drafts, while the same doesn’t appear so for the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans. Here’s why.
The Broncos were busy in the first round as they moved back by trading their No. 10 pick to the to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 20th and 52nd pick, as well as third round pick in 2020.
Despite that, the Broncos were still able to land Iowa tight end Noah Fant who could become a star in the Broncos offense.
Denver also got a steal by picking up offensive lineman Dalton Risner in the second round as he can can play right tackle, either guard spot, or even center to give the Broncos more flexibility. For the cherry on top, the Broncos drafted Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, a player many expected to be taken in the first round.
After making a trade to move up in the second round, the Jacksonville Jaguars sat back and let the draft come to them. The Jaguars started it off by taking Kentucky’s Josh Allen with the No. 7 pick. The move was surprising because most experts did not believe that Allen would even be available.
With the 35th pick, the Jaguars took Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, a player many expected to be taken in the first round. The Jaguars also waited and got nice picks in San Jose State’s Josh Oliver and Temple running back Ryquell Armstead. Quincy Williams, taken at No. 98, is a speedy linebacker/safety hybrid, fits the Jaguars defense perfectly. Williams is also the brother of New York Jets first-round pick Quinnen Williams.
The Dolphins absolutely robbed the Arizona Cardinals and is one of the reasons why they are among the winners of the draft. Miami dropped down from No. 48 to No. 62 and then used its 62nd pick to acquire quarterback Josh Rosen — the former 10th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The potential franchise quarterback gives the Dolphins a great option at quarterback and if for some reason it doesn’t work out, the Dolphins can quickly move on. Not bad for a third-round pick.
In Miami, Rosen will also now get a fresh start on a team that is looking for a franchise quarterback after the Dolphins traded Ryan Tannehill to the Titans and then signed Ryan Fitzpatrick as a backup option.
The Dolphins also fortified their defensive line by taking Clemson’s Christian Wilkins with the 13th pick. Miami then took Michael Deiter with the 78th pick. Deiter, a guard, brings plenty of experience as a four-year starter at Wisconsin and should provide an immediate impact.
Miami also used its last pick to get Washington running back Myles Gaskin, a shifty back who makes tacklers miss.
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good as that is exactly what happened with the Washington Redskins. The franchise used its 15th pick to get Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins who slipped to No. 15. The Redskins then followed it up by drafting Montez Seat who fills the need of a great pass rusher for the Redskins.
Washington then went back to Ohio State to pair Haskins up with his former teammate in Terry McLaurin. The Redskins also added Stanford running back Bryce Love who many thought would have been a first round pick last year. However, after suffering a torn ACL, Love saw his stock drop. However, if Love can get back to his normal self and make big plays, the Redskins will have easily have one of the bests drafts in 2019.
New York Giants
Yikes! With three first round picks, the Giants whiffed on all of them. First, the Giants took Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth pick, despite better quarterbacks still on the board. He could’ve been the pick at No. 17 or No. 30. Taking him with the sixth pick is a real head-scratcher.
Then with the 17th pick, the Giants took Dexter Lawrence, who although is a great defender, could have been taken with the 30th pick. And with the 30th pick — which the Giants traded up to get — the Giants took Georgia’s Deandre Baker, despite the best corner still on the board in Greedy Williams.
Overall, it was a lackluster draft after the Giants traded away Odell Beckham Jr.
Yes, we all know that Cam Newton needs help. Well, everyone besides the Panthers management team. With only two years left on his contract, the 29-year-old former MVP isn’t getting a lot of help on the offensive front.
The Panthers used their second-round pick on Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little who never lived up to his hype as a highly-recruited athlete. In the third round, the Panthers took West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and then followed it up with Alabama linebacker Christian Miller. So much for trying to get some star players around Newton on the offensive side of the ball.
The Raiders may have gotten “their guys” this draft, but it should be unsettling to them that nobody one else was those same guys. With the fourth pick in the draft, the Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell, which most people believed was as econd round type player, let alone a top 5 pick. The Raiders followed it up by drafting Alabama running back Josh Jacobs at No. 24 in what was a painfully weak class and then used their 27th pick on Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram.
The team took Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen in the second round when there was better options available in Greedy Williams and Justin Layne. But as Oakland head coach Jon Gruden has said, he isn’t the biggest fan of analytics and it certainly showed.
While the Raiders got some good players, they could have used their picks to get great players, especially after trading away Khalil Macka dn standout wide receiver Amari Cooper.
The most obvious need in the entire draft for the Houston Texans was getting players on the offensive line after allowing a ridiculous 112 sacks over the past two seasons. In 2018 alone, Watson was sacked an NFL-high 62 times.
So with their first pick (No. 23), the Texans selected Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard. However, despite trying to fill holes, the Texans were blinded in the process by taking guys way too early. Howard, while a good pick, should have been taken in the second or third round, or the Texans should have traded up to grab Jonah Williams or Andre Dillard who were easily the top two offensive lineman in the entire draft.
It didn’t help either that management did not add any play makers to the offense to help out star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted another kicker and that is pretty much sums up all you need to know about this draft. While drafting LSU linebacker Devin White in the first round was a solid move, they could have taken him 5-10 spots lower and gotten another pick out of it at least, especially with so many teams focused on getting quarterbacks so early,
Speaking of way-too-early, the Buccaneers drafted Utah kicker Matt Gay in the fifth round which means they didn’t learn from the Roberto Aguayo fiasco from the past. As the saying goes, “you sign kickers, you don’t draft them.”