Welcome back to Building the Dam’s segment on the 2019 NFL Draft winners and losers. We continue along as the Building the Dam team shares our thoughts on our most and least favorite draft picks of day three of the draft.
Below are our thoughts and opinions, but we encourage you readers to share your thoughts or your winners and losers in the comment section!
Winner: Kickers and Punters
This year we got to see two punters and two kickers taken in the draft, with three of these players coming from the PAC-12. These guys are on the short end of a lot of jokes, but they often can provide game changing plays. Having a good kicker or punter can go a long way to winning a game. Even though they are few and far between, it is always great to see the rocket legs get their names called in the draft.
Loser: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Presiding Bucs fan here with a confession; I did not like day three of the draft. The Buccaneers started the day strong with Anthony Nelson from Iowa, but quickly fell off the tracks afterwards. They went with Utah kicker Matt Gay in the fifth round before adding WR Scott Miller in the sixth and Terry Beckner Jr in the seventh. Of the three prior mentioned picks, Miller provided the best value but it is still nothing to ride home about. The worst part of it all is Tampa falls back into the joke of taking kickers way earlier than needed. Days one and two were solid for the Bucs, but day three wasn’t nearly as stellar.
Winners: Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders & New England Patriots
Arizona: Arizona had a busy day three in Nashville, with seven picks in their pocket that they all used on pieces who should make the roster and add some value beginning this season. At the pass-catching spots, the Cardinals picked up a huge 6’ 5”, 230-pound talent in Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler (R4, #1), a great slot option in Fresno State’s Keesean Johnson (R6, #1) and a unique piece in UCLA tight end Caleb Wilson (R7, #40), who was the 2019 NFL Draft’s Mr. Irrelevant. Defensively, Alabama safety Deointe Thompson (R5, #1) was an absolute steal where he was chosen, as was Temple defensive end Michael Dogbe (R7, #35), who should fit the Cardinals’ system well. I also liked the guys they added to the offensive line up front in Georgia center Lamont Gaillard (R6, #6) and Morgan State tackle Joshua Miles (R7, #34).
Oakland: Helped by three fourth-round picks, Oakland recovered from their first two weird days of the NFL Draft with a strong day three. On the edge defensively, they chose Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby (R4, #4) and Prairie View A&M’s Quinton Bell (R7, #16) - one of the draft’s more intriguing prospects - to add depth to one of the biggest voids on their roster. Snagging Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson (R4, #27) and Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (R5, #11) in succession, gives the Raiders two potential rotation guys, while LSU tight end Foster Moreau (R4, #35), is another player who could hang around in the right scheme.
New England: The Patriots could probably draft some Division III back-ups and turn them into all-pro talents but in all seriousness, they capped off their strong 2019 draft class with a high-potential day three. I had Arkansas offensive guard Hjalte Froholdt (R4, #16) rated out as one of the better linemen in the whole class, just like I also had Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham (R4, #31) projected to go much higher. New England might’ve gotten two steals there in the fourth-round. From there, the choice of Maryland defensive tackle Byron Cowart (R5, #21) - a former top recruit coming out of high school - was just sensible, considering the franchise’s history of revamping players who have missed their mark a bit. Adding Stanford punter Jake Bailey (R5, #25) and Ole Miss cornerback Ken Webster (R7, #38) were interesting as well.
Losers: Houston Texans, New York Jets & Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Houston: The Texans definitely needed to use the 2019 NFL Draft to bolster up their offensive line and fill-in holes along their defense and while they tried to do that on the first two days, they basically abandoned the plan on day three. Yes, Houston picked a defensive end in Texas’ Charles Omenihu (R5, #23) and a cornerback in Central Michigan’s Xavier Crawford (R6, #22) - a former Oregon State player - on day three, but neither of those two players look like they’ll help the team out from the get-go. I see them both as development picks and possibly special-teamers for the near future. Also, while the football fan in me respects Houston for grabbing Texas A&M do-it-all, heart-and-soul player Cullen Gillaspia (R7, #6) in the seventh-round, they probably could’ve went for another offensive lineman and waited until after the draft to add Gillaspia, who at best is a fullback or special teams player in the NFL. The Texans just seemed to miss the mark in my eyes.
New York Jets: Three of the Jets’ biggest needs coming into the NFL Draft were at the offensive guard and center spot, as well as in the defensive secondary, where the team just can’t seem to find a cohesive grouping. So naturally, the Jets being the Jets, they whiffed on those choices over all three days of the draft. Focusing only on rounds 4-7, New York first took West Virginia tight end Trevon Wesco (R4, #19), a huge-bodied, more blocking-than-catching talent and then stretched for Minnesota inside linebacker Blake Cashman (R5, #19), who may not have the size to play on the interior or edge at the next level. Waiting until the sixth round to grab Rutgers cornerback Blessuan Austin (R6, #23), a rollercoaster prospect, ended the Jets’ 2019 NFL Draft with more questions than answers. But really, did we expect anything different?
Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay’s day three picks didn’t really jump off the page to me in terms of being incredibly bad but as I dissected them further, I just don’t believe that the Bucs went with the right players to help fix the culture of a team coming off back-to-back five-win campaigns. Iowa defensive end Anthony Nelson (R4, #5) is a high-risk, medium-reward talent who is more frame than game and using a fifth-round pick on a kicker in Utah’s Matt Gay (R5, #7) is not something that needed to be addressed so early. Tampa Bay ended the day by adding 5’ 9”, 175-pound Bowling Green wide receiver Scott Miller (R6, #35) and a decent run stopper (maybe they’re only solid choice) in Missouri defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. (R7, #1).
Winner: Arizona Cardinals
I’m a huge fan of Hakeem Butler, so seeing the Cards grab him in round 4 already earns them some points. They did a lot of good work on day 3 though. Safety Deionte Thompson and OT Lamont Gaillard are exactly the kinds of players you want to target in the later rounds, and each should end up finding a role on an Arizona team that needs help everywhere.
Loser: Houston Texans
The Texans grabbed some good players, and of course I’m rooting for Xavier Crawford to make an impact in the NFL, but it felt like they were chasing other teams in the draft, ennding up with the second best available option. Waiting until round 5 to grab a D-Lineman in particular feels like a mistake in draft strategy. But hey, I have to respect a team that grabs a fullback in the draft, even if it is in round 7.
We will be continuing our draft coverage with an overall assessment from our team on our winners and losers of the entire draft on Building the Dam. Stay tuned for more instant feedback on our picks in the 2019 NFL Draft!