NFL Draft 2019: 5 takeaways from the first round

NFL Draft 2019: 5 takeaways from the first round

The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft brought six trades, two head scratchers in the top 10 picks and an incredibly confused fanbase in New York.

And those fans aren’t wearing green, which comes as a surprise to many hanging around the city.

Here are five takeaways from Round 1.

Five takeaways from the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft

1. The Giants and Jets are going in opposite directions

This is a weird sentence to write, but the Jets know what they’re doing right now and the Giants appear to have no clue.

The Giants traded away their best wide receiver, a good pass rusher, a run-stuffing defensive tackle and a cornerback all in the last two years while not re-signing a Pro Bowl safety. Then, it took a quarterback, nose tackle and corner all in the first round Thursday and every single one of their picks was seen as an overdraft.

Daniel Jones was valued by several as a second-round pick at best, Dexter Lawrence was seen as an overrated player and Deandre Baker was thought by many to be a late second-round pick. The Giants took all three of those players in the first round and they selected Jones at six. 

Meanwhile, the Jets took arguably the best player available on the board, and maybe in the draft, in Quinnen Williams while they already added C.J. Mosley and Le’Veon Bell this offseason. That comes one year after taking a pretty sure-fire bet to succeed at quarterback in Sam Darnold. 

2. Washington made the right picks even if they carry some risk

While Dwayne Haskins may carry some questions with him (he doesn’t have a ton of starts under his belt, Urban Meyer’s QBs struggle at the NFL level and he’s a bit immobile), Washington absolutely made the right move in picking him at No. 15.

He can take a bit of time to develop behind Case Keenum, the team has Alex Smith already — who could come back and play within the next two years — and Haskins is a hometown favorite, so fans will be in full support of the move. It makes absolute sense.

As does trading up to get pass rusher Montez Sweat, who was almost undoubtedly the best player on the board when they moved up to get him. He matches athleticism (4.41 40-yard dash) with production (30 sacks in his last two years at Mississippi State). Both of these moves made sense and kudos to the Redskins for pulling it off.

3. Steelers offer big reset

There’s no way around it, when Ryan Shazier went down in 2017 so did the Steelers’ plans over the next couple of years. He was truly changing that defense and making Pittsburgh a much more formidable team going forward, so when he went down it was crushing for the organization.

But, by drafting Devin Bush in the first round this year, the Steelers have a chance to reset and once again build around a great player in the middle. Shazier was a great player, and hopefully he can be again, but if he isn’t, Bush can lead a defense into the future.

4. Raiders day a tale of two drafts

The Raiders started the day off with a bang, making the only pick more controversial than the Giants selection of Jones. Clelin Ferrell is a great person, a very good player and a foundational piece for the Raiders to build on, but he was taken way too high. The Raiders might have been able to get him in the 20s.

But, instead they took him No. 4 and passed up on a better pass rusher in Josh Allen. It didn’t make a lot of sense. However, with the team’s second pick they got a player many pundits — and just football fans in general — will love in Josh Jacobs out of Alabama.

The underdog running back has little wear and tear (just 251 carries in three years for the Crimson Tide), a non-stop motor and a mean streak not seen often today in running backs. Fans in Oakland and Vegas got a good one. Then, in Johnathan Abrams’ case, the Raiders got a similar player in a safety to help out an awful defense.

Those final two picks were very good for both the team and to change the culture, as well. So it makes the Ferrell pick sting a little less.

5. A perfect fit

Marquise Brown and Lamar Jackson just feels right. The Ravens have been big on getting the ball out of Jackson’s hands quickly as a young starter and Brown is blazing fast and a very good route-runner, especially on quick slants and drags.

He will make Jackson’s job so much easier immediately. He just has to cut down on the drops a bit. Other than that, this is a match made in heaven.