By Anthony Dyce
Published: May 8th, 2019
Now that the 2019 NFL draft is over, it’s time to review the teams that are winners, losers, and walked away with some potential steals taken later in the draft.
Typically, front-office executives want to draft for need or look for immediate starters. First rounder’s are selected to be starters with All-Pro or Pro Bowl potential. There are situations where a team prefers a quarterback and that sits behind an established veteran quarterback to grasp ropes of an NFL quarterback.
Despite the intention to land cornerstone assets within top 32 picks, the draft includes gems throughout the later rounds. For instance, Tom Brady a sixth-round pick in 2000. The 13-time Pro Bowler has MVP awards and six Super Bowl rings. He is arguably the biggest draft steal in NFL draft history.
Drafting isn’t just about taking the right players; it’s about a team using its resources well.
With that being said, here are some winners, losers and the teams who stole players in the draft.
The Arizona Cardinals selected QB Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. This was a no brainer as he was the best quarterback in the draft and it made sense for both sides. Murray, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, will be under the tutelage of a head coach Kliff Kingsbury who admired Murray publically. Kingsbury’s offensive scheme is ideal to his skill set as he will be able to implement Murray’s vision, arm, talent, anticipation, and unique athleticism to make him the face of the offense.
The Buffalo Bills drafted DT Ed Oliver with the ninth overall pick. Oliver not only has the potential to be an important piece in the Bills’ defensive scheme but also has the potential to be the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year (ROTY). Oliver will have the ability to make an immediate impact replacing longtime Buffalo Bill Kyle Williams. The Bills defense was rated number two last season and has the chance to be even better this year.
The Washington Redskins prior to the draft were rumored that they were trading up to get QB Dwayne Haskins. But they remained at their position selecting him with the 15th pick. Haskins threw for 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his one season at Ohio State. He has a chance to be a franchise quarterback and the opportunity to start at quarterback in his first season.
Dave Gettleman and the Giants took Duke QB Daniel Jones with the sixth pick. It was a stunner particularly because they had another pick at 17 to get their quarterback. Also, there were good defensive players still on the table. Jones was third-round talent based on other mock drafts. Jones threw for 52 touchdowns and 29 interceptions for his career at Duke. What makes things even worse is Jones was selected in top ten of the draft and will sit behind Eli Manning this upcoming season.
Houston Texans picked OT Tytus Howard from Alabama State with the 23rd pick. Howard feels like a reach for the Texans as there were better tackles still on the board. He will be starting at LT to protect Deshaun Watson who took 132 hits and sacked an NFL high 62 times this past season.
The Seattle Seahawks with the 29th overall pick traded DE Frank Clark to the Chiefs, traded the 21st pick to the Packers and took TCU pass-rusher L.J. Collier with their 29th pick. Collier fits the defensive end type of Seattle with his massive hands and tackling ability to kick inside, but for the Horned Frogs, he started only one season. There were however more skilled defensive players on the board. This pick must work in favor of the Seahawks as this is a position of need for the team.
The Browns didn’t technically have a first-rounder, but in our eyes, they got a top-10 pick here. They drafted CB Greedy Williams from LSU with the 46th overall pick. Williams’ speed and length pairs nicely opposite from Denzel Ward, and they’ll be able to match up with whatever a receiving corps can throw at them.
The Patriots found a draft gem in DE Chase Winovich who was selected 77th overall in the 3rd round. He’s smart, tough, versatile and could rush against the pass. Winovich registered 53 pressures: 5.0 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and, 34 hurries. He was equally productive versus the ground game and came up with a stop on 34 of his 288 run-defense snaps. He definitely fits the mold of the Patriots way and compares to former Patriot Rob Ninkovich.
The Cardinals drafted WR Hakeem Butler in the fourth round 103th overall. He provides upside in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. The Iowa State product (6-5, 227 pounds) is built to be an outside game-breaker. He landed in the right spot to polish his route-running. Butler will be able to learn from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.