2019 NFL Draft Review – the Hits and the Misses

Following the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee I’ve been focussing solely on the AFC South in my role as a writer for ninetynineyards.com – check out the articles if you have chance! However, on this blog I did want to have a quick look back at the picks I both loved and loathed (or certainly questioned).So here we go:

Round 1

No.7 Josh Allen to Jaguars – this was the epitome of ‘take the best player’ in stark contrast to the previous pick at No.6 when the Giants took Daniel Jones (a clear case of them wanting a particular player). I think the Jags probably could not believe their luck. I doubt they were going Edge Rusher with their first pick but when Allen became available they did not hesitate. Allen will be great for the Jags.

No.13 Christian Wilkins to Dolphins – after losing veteran Cameron Wake to the Titans the Dolphins have picked up a great talent. The Dolphins are in rebuild mode and Wilkins will develop into a leader on defense. Super Pick.

No.22 Andre Dillard to Eagles – Philly lept up to snatch Dillard away from the Texans. This was not necessarily an immediate need for the Eagles but this gives Dillard the opportunity to learn at a franchise with a dominant O-line. In time Dillard will be a solid starter for the Eagles.

No.23 Tytus Howard to Texans – this (o-line) was a big need for Houston going into the draft and then they watched as Philly probably took their guy. Taking Howard felt like panic puying as their is real developmental aspect to asking him to step up. I think they needed more of a day-1 starter or to switch their first round pick to another spot (CB?). Or, as I suggested pre-draft, they should have stepped up into the teens to ensure they got their guy.

Colts moving back – I understand that their is value in the 2nd round but based on what the Colts went on to do (which did not wow me) I think they should have kept their pick in round 1 and maybe even looked to step up to grab someone who could really help their Super Bowl push in 2019.

Round 2

No.37 Greg Little to Panthers – I really rated Little pre-draft as great value anticipating he would go in or around this high 2nd round pick. The Panthers need some help keeping Cam healthy and Little will help achieve this.

No.41 & 42 Dalton Risner & Drew Lock to Broncos – let’s face it, Joe Flacco is not the future in Denver. Drew Lock is. Flacco will be looking over his shoulder from day 1. Risner was another great value O-line guy – very solid and versatile, can probably play anywhere on that line.

The Wide Receivers – AJ Brown (Titans), Arcega-Whiteside (Eagles), Campbell (Colts), DK Metcalfe (Seahawks). All of these were great picks for the respective sides and they will have the necessary impact early.

No.43 Jahlani Tavai to Lions – after their great first pick of TJ Hockenson I think there were much better options than Tavai this early in the second round. He has great intelligence and leadership but this was a reach, I think the would still have been their early in the 3rd – it was a reach.

No.52 Drew Sample to Bengals – nothing against him but again felt like a reach. At this point in the draft there were other options at TE (Dawson Knox and Jace Steinberger to name 2). They do need to plan for moving on from Tyler Eifert but I’m not certain Sample gives them the boost they need. Again after a lovely first pick (Jonah Williams) the Bengals, for me, did not follow it up. Both the Lions and Bengals could have done with a solid 1-2 to kick things off.

The Texans just sitting there at no.54 and 55. I think they froze. They should have used one of these to leapfrog up in round 1. I found their first 3 picks all a bit so/so, no instant wow stars!

Rounds 3&4 – going to race through these or else we will be here all day! Also from hereon-in just looking at what I loved

Loved – in all cases I see great value for talent / character and a nice fit for the team concerned.
No.65 Zachary Allen to Cardinals
No.68 Jachai Polite to Jets
No.76 Terry McLaurin to Redskins
No.77 Chase Winovich to Patriots
No.90 Connor McGovern to Cowboys
No.95 Oshane Ximines to Giants
No.108 Julian Love to Giants
No.109 Khari Willis to Colts

Rounds 5-7 – the hidden gems!

No.146 Amani Oruwariye to Lions (how did he fall this far?)
No.149 Hunter Renfrow to Raiders (sort of guy everyone roots for – could he be another Edelman?)
No.174 KeeSean Johnson to Cardinals (another I think teams should have snapped up earlier – this one plus Hakeem Butler at the top of the 4th give Arizona, and Kyler Murray, great targets).
No.206 Kelvin Harmon to Redskins (no idea why the WRs fell so far and this one probably fell the furthest – again this plus Terry McLaurin gives the Redskins serious aerial firepower.
No.210 Deshaun Davis to Bengals – sometimes you just root for a guy based on the reports. High IQ guy and there on every snap.
No.220 Cullen Gillaspia to Texans – the Texas A&M 12th man. Read up about him, great story – he will be a fan favourite.
No.228 Thomas Sweeney to Bills – could have gone much higher, got everything it takes to make it at TE.
No.241 Jalen Jelks to Cowboys – Edge Rusher who fell way too far, could be another Leonard Floyd.

Impossible to tell at this stage who ‘won’ the 2019 NFL Draft. In most cases teams made good picks and others which there is uncertainly about – that’s how it works. You are taking an educated guess on a promise of talent maturing. It was certainly a fun few days.

If you had to push me I would say that if i was in one of the following 3 front offices I would be very happy right now.

Arizona Cardinals – used the fact they were first up really well, lots of great moves.
Washington Redskins – the Haskins/McLaurin axis, Montez Sweat, each pick will count.
Denver Broncos – not many picks to play with (6) but all the right moves.

Honourable mentions to the Panthers, Bills and the Seahawks (just for turning 4 picks into 11)!

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