Welcome to Building the Dam’s segment on the 2019 NFL Draft winners and losers. A handful of us wanted to come together and share our thoughts on our most and least favorite draft picks of day one 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: Denver Broncos
So I absolutely loved what the Broncos did in this draft. They start their draft off by trading back and adding a few picks while still getting their guy in Noah Fant. Fant is a mismatch problem and TE and could quickly become a star in this offense. Then, the Broncos draft a great OT prospect Dalton Risner. Elway decided to get aggressive and traded up to the following pick and still got the guy they had been praising the entire draft process, Drew Lock. Everyone in the NFL knew the Broncos loved Lock, but they still were able to land their guy almost one full round after where everyone expected him to go.
And landing Dre’Mont Jones in the third round provides ridiculous value for the Broncos as the Ohio State D-lineman can instantly play and contribute to the defense. It’s not often you get to say this, but Elway crushed a draft, and any Broncos fan should be excited about the potential of this group.
Loser: Cincinnati Bengals
So I think any NFL fan with some NFL Draft knowledge can agree the New York Giants had probably the worst draft of any team. But they are too easy of a target, so I wanted to try and pick out another team. That poor loser for me is the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals started off the draft strongly by selecting OT Jonah Williams from Alabama. Afterwards though, it quickly went downhill as they reached in a big way for TE Drew Sample in the second round. The Bengals then chose Germaine Pratt, which is a decent choice, albeit not a very exciting one. Then they selected QB Ryan Finley from NC State, who not many draft analysts were high on. Outside of Williams, not many of the Bengals picks factor into long term plans. You have to wonder if the Bengals are looking ahead to next year’s QB class.
Winner: Washington Redskins
Anytime you align yourself with the thinking of a franchise like the Washington Redskins, you get a bit concerned for your sanity, but there’s something about their 2019 NFL Draft class that has really grown on me. Washington got two great first-round values when Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins fell to them at #15 and Mississippi State edge talent Montez Sweat ended up in their hands at #26. From there, the Redskins snatched up a favorite target of Haskins in Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin in Round 3, Stanford running back Bryce Love - an annual Heisman contender - in Round 4 and a big and strong pass-catcher in North Carolina State’s Kelvin Harmon in Round 6. All three of those pieces can be immediate impact players at the team’s play-making positions.
On the offensive front, they added the depth and versatility they needed with the selections of Indiana’s Wes Martin in Round 4 and Alabama’s Ross Pierschbacher in Round 5, two interior line pieces who have solid ceilings. If there’s a small knock on Washington’s draft, it’s that they didn’t go heavy on defensive talents after Sweat, as they waited until Round 5 to grab North Carolina outside linebacker Cole Holcomb. However, their pick of James Madison cornerback Jimmy Moreland - who has six career interception returns for touchdowns - in Round 7 could be a steal, as could Oklahoma State’s Jordan Brailford, who the team grabbed later in final round, if he can adjust to more of an edge role at the next level.
Loser: Detroit Lions
I’m not exactly sure what to say about the Detroit Lions draft. I know the modern trend of the NFL is the usage of a versatile, oversized tight end and while Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson fits the mold, I didn’t agree that he warranted the #8 overall selection in the draft from a 6-10 squad with tons of defensive holes. Beyond that, I didn’t seem much improvement from Detroit, who then reached for two defensive talents in Hawai’i linebacker Jahlani Tavai in Round 2 - maybe their best choice based on need - and Boston College safety Will Harris in Round 3. In Round 4, the Lions added Clemson’s Austin Bryant, who hopefully will be able to develop correctly to fill their need on the defensive front, after being largely overshadowed in college.
Round 5 through Round 7 is where Detroit really lost me as with five picks, the Lions didn’t really get much in terms of any talent that won’t spend years filling special teams or reserve roles. Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye, the team’s early Round 5 choice, was a pedestrian collegiate pass-defender and their Round 6 picks of Old Dominion receiver Travis Fulgham and Maryland running back Ty Johnson felt like nothing more than roster-fillers. Round 7 is always an enigma for any team, but it just felt like Detroit clocked out at this point. Georgia tight end Isaac Nauta is one of those hard-to-fit guys in a scheme, especially after already snagging your franchise’s tight end of the future in Round 1, and Arizona defensive tackle P.J. Johnson does nothing for me, as he struggles to remain on the field in pass-rush situations.
Thank you all for following along on our recap of the 2019 NFL Draft. Please free to leave any comments as well as check out some of our draft day recaps. Links are included below.