Author: Slater Dvoor
The 2019 NFL draft got underway last Thursday in Nashville and it was a very good night for some teams and a very bad night for others. There were some picks that most of us predicted, like Kyler Murray to the Cardinals at one and some shockers like Clelin Ferrell to the Raiders at four. While most General Manager’s probably have a better feel for what their team needs then me, here are my day one winners and losers from a very interesting first night in Nashville.
Atlanta Falcons- Last year the Falcons allowed 42 sacks while finishing 27th in the league in rushing. Partly due to an injured Devonta Freeman but also poor offensive line play. Atlanta added Guard Chris Lindstrom and Tackle Kaleb McGary to their offensive line. While these picks weren’t sexy, both players are probably guys that are going to start right away and solidify that offensive line for years to come.
Washington Redskins- Luckily for the Redskins Haskins fell right into their lap. This is the quarterback they wanted and they didn’t have to trade up to get him. That’s a win in itself. I believe Haskins to be the second-best quarterback in the draft. He has a strong accurate arm, can make everything throw you want and in his final three games against Michigan, Northwestern, and Washington, teams with great defenses Haskins threw 14 Touchdowns and 1 interception. Washington also added Montez Sweat which gives them an edge rusher opposite of Ryan Kerrigan. Sweat was a top 10 talent but fell due to medical concerns with his heart. If the medical checks out Sweat could be the steal of the draft.
Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers defense simply has not been the same since Ryan Shazier’s injury. Missing Shazier’s ability to get sideline to sideline something that is a must in today’s high paced NFL. Well the Steelers just got their guy. Pittsburgh moved up from 20 to 10 without giving up a first-round pick (Really Denver???) to get Devin Bush. Bush is one of those sideline to sideline linebackers who can also cover well in man to man. A sneaky good move can be playing a major difference in the AFC.
New York Giants- Let’s start with Daniel Jones. Jones is a nice player. He’s got good mechanics, good IQ, and is a sneaky athlete. However, he is not a guy that has a very high ceiling in the NFL. Jones has a very inconsistent deep ball and believe him to be a check down charlie. He could and probably will have a very solid NFL career but he is not a quarterback I would take in the first round let alone the 6th pick. Haskins is far superior prospect and now you’ll see him twice a year. For the rest of the draft I liked the players but I thought the way they went about it was foolish. Dexter Lawrence is a good player. However, the Giants best position on defense is defensive tackle. They have guys like BJ Hill, a one-year pro, and Dalvin Tomlinson, a two-year pro. The pick doesn’t make sense. I would have liked to see an edge rusher like Montez Sweat here to fill a position they desperately need. I also like Deandre Baker. He’s a long corner who plays with an edge. But he was the first corner off the board. There was NO NEED to trade up for him. The Giants are a team with many needs, you don’t need to be trading up seven spots, losing later round picks, for a corner who will most likely be there. Also, I, and a lot of other people, believe Rock Ya-Sin to be a better version of Baker. Gentleman says he has a “plan” but to me it’s hard to see what that plan is.
Houston Texans- I really feel bad for Houston. It really looked like Andre Dillard was about to fall right into their laps. But then here comes the Eagles trading to the spot above them to snatch him. Houston should’ve been more aggressive in trying to get Dillard as I believe him to be the best LT in this class. Instead they got Tytus Howard. A good prospect but someone who needs a ton of work. He’s only played Left Tackle for two years, 18 starts, and is incredibly raw. The Texans need a contributor now. I believe Howard can be molded into a great player down the line however, the Texans need him to protect Deshaun Watson now and don’t think he’s capable of that just yet.
Day 2 Top Picks
The 2019 NFL draft can be described as a deep one. Day two in Nashville consisted of a very talented and deep group of NFL prospects including a ton of wide receiver and secondary depth. With the casual NFL fan unsure of who most of these new NFL players are, I’m here to educate the general public on who are the names to watch from the second and third rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Indianapolis Colts– First of all what a name. The player is not too shabby either. Ya-Sin is a physical, tough corner out of Temple University. There is nothing that Rock cannot do. He can cover in man to man, he does a very nice job in zone coverage as well, and probably his best asset is his ability to come up and tackle. Ya-sin wore the number six at Temple. At Temple it is an honor to wear a single digit number as it signifies a player’s toughness. The Colts got a good one early in the second round.
Cody Ford, OL, Buffalo Bills– The Buffalo Bills had one of the worst offense lines in the NFL last year. They added a lot in free agency and Ford adds to that. This is a versatile piece who can really play anywhere on the offensive line. Most likely to play right guard or right tackle for the Bills, Ford can be a plug-in guy anywhere. Oklahoma has also produced very good NFL offensive lineman over the years. I love the fit, I love the player, great pick by Buffalo.
Andy Isabella, WR, Arizona Cardinals– Isabella is a 5-11 slot receiver who is an absolute burner. He ran a 4.31 at the combine, fastest amongst receivers this year. The UMass receiver led all FBS receivers in yards, 1,698, while also catching 102 balls, 12 of which were touchdowns. Isabella gives Kyler Murray a great weapon and safety net. This dude will be able to get serious yards after the catch and allow the Murray to get the ball out of his hands without eliminating the big play. I love Isabella’s fit into Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears– Outside of Josh Jacobs from Alabama, Montgomery was my clear number two running back in this year’s draft. The Iowa State product is an absolute beast with the football in his hands. He reminds me of Browns running back Kareem Hunt. He’s not going to take the top off of the defense, but he’s a guy that’s going to make a lot of defenders miss and is really effective catching the ball out of the backfield. Montgomery led the nation in broken tackles a year ago and is a really physical runner. He’s going to be a great compliment to Tarik Cohen in Chicago and will fill the void left by Jordan Howard in Matt Nagy’s offense.
Khalen Saunders, DT, Kansas City Chiefs– This one might seem interesting due to the fact that Saunders played for Western Illinois, which is Division I-AA school. Also, this is not a guy most football fans would have a clue of who he is. This guy, however, is an absolute beast. Throw on the tape and you will see a man amongst boys. Saunders, weighing in at 324 pounds, has an incredibly fast first step and throws around offensive lineman like they are rag dolls. From the defensive tackle position Saunders had 12 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, while constantly facing double teams. One might say, well he really didn’t play any tough competition this year, how good can he possibly be. The DT from Western Illinois had two sacks in the Senior Bowl, however, putting those questions to rest. Saunders will probably be just a third down lineman in his rookie campaign but I believe this guy to be a very good pass rusher from the DT position throughout his career.