Since this is my debut, let me do a quick intro. My name is Matt Harris, and I'm a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I've had a passion for sports my whole life, and just started writing in November. Not only will I be contributing here at Burbs Entertainment, I'm also a contributor for lastwordonprofootball.com as a Chicago Bears writer. I'm honored to join the team here at Burbs, and excited to see us continue to grow.
Ok now onto what you guys are here for. The 2019 NFL Draft is in the books. Some teams like the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants and Washington Redskins put their whole future on the line by selecting quarterbacks. Other teams, like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills, were able to pounce on impact players that fell. Overall, it was a pretty exciting draft, with the highlight of it coming on day two. Former Indianapolis Colts pro bowl punter Pat McAfee waltzed out onto the stage and delivered the news of the Colts third-round draft pick the only way that he could. He proclaimed that Stanford Cardinal linebacker Bobby Okereke was going to be a future Hall of Famer. Those are some pretty high expectations to live up to. Let's get into the winners and losers of the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 NFL Draft Winners
It baffles me how great defensive players always fall to the Jaguars. Kentucky outside linebacker Josh Allen was widely considered the third best player in the entire draft, behind Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams. Many mock drafts had him slotted at either pick four to the Oakland Raiders, or pick six to the New York Giants. Those teams decided to go elsewhere, which led Jacksonville to take the sack artist from Lexington. Allen had a monster senior season for the Wildcats, racking up 17.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. He will be an immediate contributor for the Jaguars and should help their talented defense get back on track.
You can argue that their second pick was even more valuable. They traded up to pick 34 in the second-round to take Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor. Taylor was predicted to go to Jacksonville seventh overall. They were able to snag the talented offensive lineman in the second round. He will be a day one starter at right tackle for a team that is looking to turn it around on offense after the Blake Bortles era. Nick Foles is now under center for Jacksonville, which gives them a competent quarterback who can actually make plays. Look for them to try and emphasize the run game with their improved offensive line, and a hopefully healthy Leonard Fournette.
The rest of their draft was pretty meh, but what they were able to do with their first few picks made them a winner in my eyes.
Did I like the Kyler Murray pick? Not really, I think they would've been better off taking Ohio State's Nick Bosa. However, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsburygot the guy he wanted all along. Murray knows the system and is a better fit than Josh Rosen. We all know what Murray can do, he's a smaller quarterback but is a great athlete and consistently made big throws when he was at Oklahoma. Many have compared him to Russell Wilson. I'd like to specifically focus on the Cardinals day two and day three picks though, as I think they really nailed their selections.
At the top of the second round, they took Washington cornerback Byron Murphy. Murphy was widely considered a first-round talent, so Arizona was able to get really good value out of that selection. The Cardinals got a steal in the fifth round, taking safety Deionte Thompson from Alabama. They were able to help out their defensive line, getting pass rushers in Zach Allen and Michael Dogbe. Arizona was able to improve its atrocious offensive line by taking two late in the sixth and seventh rounds.
More importantly, they were able to get weapons around Kyler Murray. They picked up Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson, who are going to help stretch out the field with their ability to fly. Now, onto quite possibly my favorite pick of the draft. Hakeem Butler, a wide receiver from Iowa State. How did he slip? Butler is 6"6, dominates on jump balls, and can absolutely fly. It baffles me that he fell all the way to the fourth. He has the potential to be a special receiver in the NFL.
Love or hate the Kyler Murray pick, you could give them a winner grade for what they were able to do with the rest of their picks. Good job Steve Keim. You almost made up for what you did to poor Josh Rosen.
The Buffalo Bills came in with a plan, and they executed that plan. Their goal was to get better around their young quarterback Josh Allen. That's exactly what they did with their selections.
With the ninth overall pick, the Bills selected Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver. Oliver was incorrectly used at Houston, lining up mostly at defensive tackle. Still, he was able to dominate with his athleticism and strength. He's a little undersized, but that's what they said about Aaron Donald. I'm not worried, fantastic pick by Buffalo. They got a top-five talent at pick nine.
Buffalo beefed up their offensive line in the second round by taking Oklahoma tackle Cody Ford. Ford will be a plug and play day one starter for the Bills. They struggled to protect Allen last season, but they're making a conscious effort to make sure that that's not the case this year.
The Bills took two playmakers to also help out Allen in the third round. They took Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary with their first third-round pick. Singletary could challenge the aging LeSean McCoy for the starting spot. He should be able to contribute to his new team immediately. Tight end Dawson Knox from Mississippi was their next third-round pick. Knox was overshadowed at Ole Miss by fellow draft picks A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf. He's another weapon that can help Josh Allen in his second season.
I think the Bills knocked it out of the park with their picks. They should be a team on everyone's radar next season. Buffalo could be a team that fights for a wild card spot next season.
2019 NFL Draft Losers
New York Giants
I don't hate Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, I just hate him at the sixth pick. Let's go through the list here. One, he was the third or fourth best quarterback at best by most scouts, and you took him over, Dwayne Haskins. Haskins had better reviews from scouts and would've been the smarter pick. Secondly, they just traded away their best pass rusher Olivier Vernon. One would think they would take pass rusher, but New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman thought differently.
It really doesn't matter what the Giants did the rest of the draft. Yeah, they picked up some guys who are going to contribute, but the fate of their draft class is up to one Daniel Jones. If he proves the haters like me wrong, it's an absolute home run for the Giants. If he doesn't they'll be calling for Gettleman's head. Jones is likely to sit behind Eli Manning for a bit, so us NFL fans will be forced to wait even longer.
I really like T.J. Hockenson. He has the potential to be a great tight end in the NFL. However, I think the Detroit Lions should've gone elsewhere with their first-round pick. They needed an impact player on the defensive side of the ball, where they struggled mightily last season. Devin Bush, the linebacker from Michigan, should've been the pick there. Detroit is in desperate need of a presence in the middle of the field, and he would've fit the bill perfectly.
It's gonna be another year of struggle for the Lions. They may need to reconsider what they do for their future. Unfortunately, that means that it could be the end of the Matt Patricia era.
Houston needed to take a few offensive linemen in this draft. Quarterback DeShaun Watson almost died last year because of the hits he was taking. Watson literally couldn't take the airplane to the game. He had to take the bus. Anyways, the Texans had their eyes on one guy, Andre Dillard from Washington State. Dillard was widely considered the best pass blocker in the draft and would've done wonders for Watson. Unfortunately for the Texans, the Philadelphia Eagles traded up to the pick before them and were able to snipe Dillard away from the grasp of Houston.
Houston panicked, decided to take Tytus Howard, an offensive lineman from Alabama State. While Howard has the potential to be a star in the future, he's a huge project. He had a great game against Auburn while battling some talented pass rushers, but that was one game. There were better options on the board. They really need Howard to pan out, otherwise, DeShaun Watson is in for another year of taking a brutal beating.