Draft 2019: Round 1 Review
Whilst there were some standout picks, it felt like a relatively uneventful draft. Uneventful, but solid. As expected, if teams wanted to get better in the trenches, this was the draft for them. Let’s take a look.
A Good Night for…
Teams That Didn’t Give Up a Ton To Move Up the Order: Really mostly talking about Buffalo and Washington. There had been a fair few rumours around Washington giving up the farm to move into the top 10, to get their QB of the future. Whether they actively decided they’d just pick up whoever fell or the teams in the top 10 desperate to trade out priced themselves out of a trade, it worked out well for Washington as they were able to take “their guy”, Dwayne Haskins. This meant that they could give up their 2nd round pick to move back into the 1st to take highly rated edge rusher, Montez Sweat, who was in a free-fall. loaded with compensatory picks, i’d be surprised if this was the last we saw of Bruce Allen moving around the draft. Buffalo had been heavily linked with Ed Oliver, which due to his rising stock throughout the week, it looked like they’d have to move up to get him. Realistically the Bills would have had to trade ahead of the Giants, who were in the market for an elite defensive tackle, which would have cost a fortune in draft capital. The Bills stayed where they were though and I’d imagine were doing cartwheels when Oliver was available.
Clemson D-Linemen: The Clemson D-line this year may be one of the best I can remember and I can’t wait to watch the 30 for 30 episode on their 2018 season. Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence were all expected to go in the 1st round, but I don’t think that anyone believed they’d go in the top 17 picks. Whilst none of them were considered the no.1 player at their position, the overwhelming belief is that they all have character by the bucketload and all 3 will undoubtedly improve the locker rooms they’re about to enter if the stories are to be believed, joining teams that could really do with a motivational push. Expect to see Austin Bryant head to a team tonight, to complete the 4.
The Raiders Draft Method: Maybe not a popular opinion this one, but it was obvious that they had 3 players in mind that they wanted and it looks like they got them all. The biggest question mark will be around the no. 4 pick going to Clelin Ferrell, but if the right trade wasn’t there, then I like that they got their guy at 4. Trading away Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper meant with the no. 24 and 27 picks the Raiders needed to pick up players that can be difference makers. Josh Jacobs was the clear no.1 running back in the draft and Johnathan Abrams at safety, is a player that has 3 down potential. However you feel about the Raiders picks themselves, they got the guys they wanted and that paints a target on their backs. But by clearing the draft room and taking a little pressure off both Gruden and Mayock, I think they’ve possibly helped themselves.
A Bad Night For…
Josh Rosen and Playing Games: Considering how well he’s handled himself, Josh Rosen has a right to feel a little hard done by. For whatever reason the Cards were unable to trade him before they could make the Kyler Murray pick. Over the past couple of months, the Cards have tried to raise how much capital they could get for Josh Rosen, with vague press conferences and conflicting rumours. Now the Cards are staring down the barrel of lower round compensation for a former 10th overall pick. Interested parties will undoubtedly have known that playing a waiting game for Rosen could payoff and it looks like it has.
Dave Gettleman: Controversial opinion no.2. If the Giants were to believe that maybe there’d be a run on QBs, which was definitely possible, I can’t criticise them for picking up the QB they liked with the no.6 pick. Having Eli as a role model, will help Jones. When Eli was benched, there were reports of him sitting down with the other QB’s on the roster and giving them advice. Eli is a consummate professional. However… Gettleman almost seems to take joy in winding up fans and a New York press that is baying for blood. Telling them they might adopt the “Green Bay model”, sitting him for 3 years behind Eli, like Rodgers sat behind Favre, won’t help a fanbase that believes that they should have picked up one of the top QBs last year and maybe adopt a more urgent approach. Gettleman’s approach to this year’s off-season has put him and Pat Shurmur under a ton of pressure to succeed now. One final point. I love the Dexter Lawrence pick up. Lawrence will be a dominant d-lineman, which will demand attention of several offensive players, thst should let Betcher line up with more defensive backs and run something closer to what he had in Arizona, which they made even easier by trading back into the 1st to pick up DeAndre Baker.
Draft Prospects in Nashville: Well it looks like my prediction of “All players in the green room being off the board by the end of the first round” was incredibly wrong. Greedy Williams, Jawaan Taylor (top 10 prospect), DK Metcalf, Cody Ford and Drew Lock, were all left in the green room at the draft. Jawaan Taylor had a ton of injury and weight worries, which saw Kaleb McGary and Tytus Howard get picked ahead of him. DK Metcalf comes with a number of question marks, despite being a physical freak. Greedy Williams is a mixed bag on tape, which coupled up with the dry market on corners in the first round, saw him slip. Drew Lock is interesting. Potentially look to see the Broncos trade up in the 2nd to get their QB of the future. These 5 players alone head up a loaded 2nd round on day 2.
Picks I Liked
Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary to the Falcons: My no.1 gripe with the Falcons for the last 5 years is the lack of offensive line depth. Any success has come due to getting lucky with injuries on the o-line. Now, with relatively few needs the Falcons add some starting talent and improve the depth at a vital position. The belief in the Gents manor house, is that we’re sleeping on the Falcons. This makes them more intriguing.
Devin Bush to the Steelers: The Steelers were no nonsense with their approach to this years draft. They saw the potential to fill a position of need and didn’t think twice about doing it. The 2019 linebacker class is weak this year and they managed to go and get their rangy coverage linebacker, who should fill the hole left by Ryan Shazier.
Josh Allen to the Jags: Josh Allen means that the Jags aren’t going to have to be thin if they make sacrifices on the defensive line. Personally I believe that if they can keep the line together, Allen can play JACK, rather than a more traditional defensive end position. Jags reap the benefit of someone that was considered a top 5 pick, but fell.
And that’s the highlights of the 1st round for me, keep an eye on twitter, we’ll be active throughout Friday and Saturday, also look out for more posts on the site about the remaining picks in the draft. If you want to hear our views on all 32 draft picks so far, then check out the podcast, available from all good podcatchers. Thanks for reading and get ready for day 2!