15 instant reactions to Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft
If preparing Mock Drafts is my most hated practice of the NFL Draft process, then assigning instant knee-jerk grades to what teams did is a close 2nd.
(Remember the time we all panned the Colts for “reaching” for some small school guy named Darius Leonard in the 2nd round of last year’s draft? I know I did. And look who’s the idiot now …
… although it’s ok to go ahead and pan the New York Giants for what they did with the 6th overall pick. Putting my proverbial money where my mouth is — if that guy makes more 2 Pro Bowls in his entire career, i’ll spend 24 hours eating nothing but olives — and I LOATHE olives).
All of that aside, instead of wasting time with that stupid practice, consider this me emptying out the random notes and thoughts of my mental notebook, as we wrap up Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft and head into Day(s) 2 & 3 …
- Credit to my friend Dash K, who called it yesterday evening: I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if Washington Redskins’ personnel Czar Bruce Allen totally made a calculated leak around the well-documented report of the debate between the Redskins front office and coaching staff around whether to take Dwayne Haskins or Daniel Jones, in order to get some team to panic into taking Jones and thus help Haskins fall to #15 overall.
- I’ve spent the past few seasons (foolishly) defending Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder against (what were previously) ignorant clichés and blanket statements about how he’s still the one running the team like a fantasy football roster. But, not anymore. Snyder — thanks in large part to support from his chief sycophants in Allen and (General Manager in name only) Doug Williams — was the driving force behind drafting Haskins, so he could market a local kid (Haskins grew up in Potomac, Maryland) who starred at a brand name school and represents the next great hope at quarterback, to an increasingly disenchanted — if not disinterested — local fan base.
- But credit where credit is due: the Redskins then trading back up to the 26th overall pick, and selecting DE Montez Sweat from Mississippi State, was an excellent move. If the reports of Sweat’s heart condition turn out to be as exaggerated (if not false) as some are claiming — more on bogus medical claims and affected draft positions in a second —the Redskins got one of the three best edge rushers in the Draft. If a fortune teller told Redskins fans that they could walk out with two of the top 20-to-25 players in this draft, but they’d have to sacrifice a 2nd round pick next year to do so, most people would take that deal.
- After the selection of Jones, New York Giants’ General Manager David Gettleman has to have surpassed Bill Belichick, David Ortiz, and John Rocker as the most hated professional sports entity among the collective New York fan base. The online reactions to the Giants’ taking Jones — like this one and this one and this one and this one and this one and especially this one (the kid gave HIMSELF a wedgie) — are hilariously priceless.
- With the Giants taking Jones and the Redskins taking Haskins (and the Miami Dolphins passing on the latter), I fully expect Miami and/or the Los Angeles Chargers to be one of the two teams that lands Josh Rosen — who spent Friday morning completely disassociating himself from his soon-to-be-former-team— now that the Arizona Cardinals officially selected Kyler Murray.
- I mentioned this yesterday evening more than once, but I’ll repeat it again: Jawaan Taylor’s phantom, out-of-nowhere “knee concerns” is literally the same situation as Derwin James “back concerns” from last year or Myles Jack’s “degenerative knee condition” in 2016— a gross last-second groupthink overreaction that’s going to lead to some team getting a total a steal and everyone else looking like idiots.
- It feels like the fact that DE/OLB Josh Allen — who everyone had as a 99.999% lock to be taken by the 6th pick at the latest — falling to the pass-rusher-desiring Jacksonville Jaguars at #7 overall, isn’t getting enough attention. That was a great pick that just fell into their laps.
- There are some differing opinions on the player, but the Eagles quietly traded a couple of modest, mid-round picks (4th & 6th) to move up 3 spots in the draft, leapfrog the Houston Texans, and make one of the shrewdest picks in Round 1 in OT Andre Dillard. Most people believed Dillard is the best pass protector in the draft — I had him ranked as my 3rd best offensive lineman and a top 16 player overall — and was absolutely targeted by Houston.
- My other “favorite” picks in Round 1: the Jets taking Quinnen Williams, the Panthers taking Brian Burns, and the Ravens taking Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.
- While I had previously stated/”reported” the Falcons were looking to add youth to their offensive line (because their owner demanded that they do so), the Falcons taking Chris Lindstrom at #14 felt like a panic reach after preferred their preferred options along the defensive line (Ed Oliver and Christian Wilkins) were taken.
- Outside of the genuine laugh-out-loud idiocy of Jones being picked 6th overall, my least favorite pick was Green Bay taking Rashan Gary at #12 overall. I get that they’re an organization who values height/weight/speed numbers, but I just have a hard time spending a top-12 pick on a guy who wasn’t even the first or second best player on his own defense (a large reason why I didn’t have him ranked among my top 32 players).
- Some people might’ve seen the Patriots taking N’Keal Harry at #32 as a surprise, but it shouldn’t have been if we connected the dots. He was a name mentioned frequently by Patriots fans, and former NFL General Manager Michael Lombardi — whom we obviously know has a great relationship with Bill Belichick — effectively called Harry his favorite WR in this draft, on his new “The GM Shuffle” podcast.
- For the second year in a row, the Seahawks took a guy in the first round of the draft who most people would call a reach if they took him in the 2nd round of the draft. In 2017, it was Rashaad Penny, and this year, it was LJ Collier (who I had ranked as my 89th-best player entering the Draft).
- Drew Lock to Denver at #10 was one of the earliest locks (no pun intended) in the pre-draft process, and it was admittedly a bit of a surprise to not see the Broncos, or any other team, trade up into the late 1st round to grab him (and lock him up to a Round 1 contract that encompasses that all-important 5th-year option). Still, the Broncos now find themselves in very good position to draft him with their 2nd round pick (they have the 9th pick in Round 2).
- After trading out of Round 1 (picking up an additional 2nd round pick this year + 2nd round pick in 2020), the Indianapolis Colts have 3 of the next 30 picks, in a 2nd round with a lot of value left. General Manager Chris Ballard is about to unleash his fury, and the rest of the AFC should be very worried. Ballard is a strict “best player available” guy, but you have to think safety, cornerback, (another) pass rusher, inside linebacker, and maybe interior OL are all positions high on their needs list.