Draft 2019: Day 3 Review
With the last pick of the 2019 draft the Arizona Cardinals closed the proceedings they had started on Thursday (Friday for us I suppose) night by picking UCLA tight end Caled Wilson. Then seemingly without pausing for breath or a shower to freshen up, we were into the free for all of undrafted free agency. However at the Gents we do like to take a breath (and a shower) especially after the frenetic drafting that occurs in rounds 4 to 7. For a leisurely afternoon read in the post draft haze (and a good nights sleep), we take a quick look at some worthy moments of day 3.
Where it all began
To celebrate the 100th year of the NFL, during the 6th round picks were made from some of the original towns and cities that hosted teams that started it all. This was a nice touch especially with a short history fact piece appearing on screen including the name of the original team. My favourite was the marking of Fritz Pollard, the first African-American head coach in the NFL, co-coaching the Akron Pros (whilst playing running back) and the Hammond Pros. All this really helped remove some of the sometimes unnecessary pomp around the draft, the game and gave a sense of perspective where the game we love has come from.
QB or not QB that is the question
Six quarterbacks were taken in the last four rounds of the draft. The first two in round four were Ryan Finley to the Bengals and the Patriots taking Jarret Stidham in what has to be a classic Patriots move (yes we were constantly reminded the Tom Brady was taken later with the 199th pick). With Finley it is assumed that he is being looked at as the possible heir apparent to Dalton, definitely needs time sitting behind Dalton to learn the game and improve his game. With Stidham, well he could be looked that the Patriots are interested in him to see if they can refine him to become Tom’s heir apparent or that he could be refined to be a functional back up. Stidham is one of the best passers, his throw is beautiful, he remains one of the most polarising of QB prospects. His poor numbers are either due to him making some poor decisions (probably partly true) and not putting the ball exactly when his receiver expected it or that he was surrounded by mediocre talent that kept on dropping his passes. He did show some sensible decision making but did not always read the field well. The Patriots probably one of the best places for him to develop.
The next two were Easton Stick and Clayton Thorson, by the LA Chargers and the Eagles respectively in round 5. The analysis seemed to be that Easton Stick was Jared Goff-lite and Clayton Thorson Carson Wentz-Lite. It is therefore possible both teams are looking to again see if they can develop these players into functional back-ups that can slot easily into the scheme if necessary and maybe just maybe, be the next Nick Foles equivalent. Both these picks make sense, Rivers is getting older and has certainly had some injury niggles and we all know about Carson Wentz. With the Eagles, Clayton Thorson is that insurance if their o-line picks do not quite work out as planned. But who knows.
The final two were taken in the 6th round by the Jaguars then 20 picks later by the Ravens. Gardener Mishew went to the Jaguars, maybe to develop as a back up to Nick Foles, the verdict appeared to be that he has potential to be a solid back up. The interesting one is Trace McSorley from Penn State to the Ravens. In an interview John Harbaugh did say that they see McSorley, who is a mobile quarterback with a pretty solid arm (though was very much supported by the efforts of Miles Sanders), that they can use him as a back up to Lamar Jackson, as he ran a similar style offense at Penn State. But also they see McSorley as a Tysom Hill kind of guy and that it is possible we’ll see him as that kind of multi-tool player. John also joked (or was he partially serious) about how they
could have RGIII, McSorley and Jackson all on the field at the same time. That is a versatile QB group. With Mcsorley that brought a total of 11 QBs selected in this years draft.
Who stole What?
It was nice of Pat Mcafee to return the show after stealing it the night before, though he and Rich Eisen had some fun with the first punter to go off the board to the 49ers in the 4th round (apparently the second best punter in the draft, Mitch Wishnowsky from Utah). The Utah special teams must have been something as the Bucs then took the kicker Matt Gay in the 5th, who was reckoned to be the best kicker in the draft. As much as there was a bit of joking about the picks, when the the Patriots then took punter Jacob Bailey from Stanford in the 5th then maybe the Bucs and 49ers really did get a steal.
The Cardinals opening the day with quite a performance at the OK Corral to then take Hakeem Butler, the wr from Iowa State and our top rated receiver, could be seen as a day three steal. Teaming up with Andy Isabella and learning from the legend that is Larry Fitzgerald, if Kyler Murray can stay up right then the Cardinals have some serious weapons, who knows even Caleb Wilson may surprise us as a solid addition to the o-line and really help in getting David Johnson back to his best.
Is getting a player in the 4th round really a steal? It is when the highly regarded safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from Florida is still on the board. Remember he was our second top rated safety going into this draft, a highly versatile and quick player who can tackle. The Saints got a steal here, a player that will fit right in with how they like to line up in defense.
The depth at mid-round, OK line backer prospects was pretty deep this year, it probably explains why ten went in the 5th and why 18 went on day 3. Two notable picks that probably count as steals are Florida’s Vosean Joseph to the Bills and Alabama’s Mack Wilson to the Browns, both in the 5th round and both graded as top ten at the position. Potentially great value so late on.
The Bears probably get suspected of stealing the Mona Lisa without any proof they did it. Or something similar, by getting Riley Ridley, the exciting receiver from Georgia, with the 126th pick. A great route runner, fast and has great hands. What an addition to now a scarily loaded offense.
When One is not Enough
There were some comments that it seemed some teams were stacking up on running backs but no one took more than two. The position that appeared popular was at receiver, Seattle and Arizona taking three each and four teams taking two.
The interesting one is the Lions, having opened their draft by taking a tight end in Hockenson in round 1, they followed this by taking Isaac Nauta in the 7th, one of four tight ends taken in the 7th. Only the Bills were the other team to pick two tight ends this draft. It is just interesting and not really sure how to read this other than trying to create some depth or wanting to try something else as well as taking linemen. Everyone got in on the act of day 3 offensive linemen, as everyone can obviously see the benefit of having some depth at o-line and this years class was pretty deep.
Heart Warming Moments
I thought I would close by sharing the heart warming moment of day 3 when really it is about the fans and the places and people that matter. Yes Ryan Succop coming on as part of the Mr Irrelevant pick was sweet, as well as Josh Rosen’s tweeted video demonstrating his maturity in being messed around by Keim. The 49ers announcing two picks with the chocolate fortune football was cute and good fun. The winner and one that is up there as moment of the whole draft was 13 year old Mo
Gaba reading out the 123rd pick for the Ravens, making history as the first person to read out a draft pick using braille. He is a big Ravens fan and apparently calls up regularly on the local radio to talk about the Ravens. It was an ace moment.
That is what Day 3 is all about is those moments that get the fans involved and make the whole thing so inclusive.
And with that, the 2019 Draft and our quick takes on it come to an end. We’ll be going through the draft on the podcast and in the mean time share your thoughts and opinions on how you think your team did by email, on twitter (@gridirongents) or on Facebook
Thank you for reading, toodle pip