NFL Draft Talk Volume LXVI
The 2019 NFL draft is officially in the books and there were some teams that knocked it out of the park and made the most of nearly every pick and there were others that did a decent job or hardly moved the needle after the three-day event was concluded. Here are the draft grades for each team by division: NFC East • Dallas Cowboys: C The Joneses had a decent draft haul but neglected to utilize some of their early picks on positions of need that they explicitly expressed that they would be targeting leading up to the draft such as safety and tight end. Since they traded their first-round pick in this year’s draft to the Oakland Raiders last season in exchange for receiver Amari Cooper, they made their first pick in the late second round when they actually did draft a quality player at a position of need in defensive tackle Trysten Hill of UCF at No.58 overall. They used their second pick which came in the third round on Penn State offensive guard Connor McGovern at No.90 overall. While he is considered a good prospect, their offensive line is already among the best in the league, they selected a guard in the second round last year and they will be getting All-Pro center Travis Fredrick back this year so this pick was a luxury when there were still starting caliber safeties and tight ends still on the board. They took a pair of running backs on day three that could play key roles for their special teams' units and serve as rotation pieces in their offense to ease some of the heavy workload that All-Pro Ezekiel Elliot has carried for his first three years in the league. In the fourth round, they found their returner out of Memphis Tony Pollard who tied an NCAA record with seven career return touchdowns at No.128 overall. With their first pick in the seventh round, they selected Elliot’s former college teammate at Ohio State Mike Webster at No.218 overall. • New York Giants: A- While many experts, fans and members of the media were shocked and upset when they used their top 10 pick on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones at No.6 overall who many of those same people believe would’ve been available for them to take with their second pick in the first round, the rest of their draft sections were really good. After they took Jones with their first pick, only two of their remaining nine picks came on the defensive side of the ball. It is not surprising considering that their defense has been among the worst in the league over the last few years. They kicked off the defensive heavy haul with their second pick in the first round when they selected the massive defensive tackle out Clemson with nimble feet Dexter Lawrence at No.17 overall and traded back into the bottom of the first round to take Georgia cornerback DeAndre Baker at No.30 overall. Their next three picks were all defensive selections as well and continued the run on defenders with defensive end Oshane Ximines from Old Dominion in the third round at No.95 overall. They got another pair of potential starters on that side of the ball on day three with the selection of ball-hawking cornerback Julian Love form Notre Dame at No.108 overall in the fourth round and Wisconsin linebacker Ryan Connelly at No.143 overall in the fifth round. They also picked up a deep threat receiver Darius Slayton of Auburn in the fifth round at No.171 overall. • Philadelphia Eagles: A+ While he only had a five-man draft class, General Manager Howie Roseman made the most of his handful of the picks. On Thursday night he traded up three spots to select Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard at No.22 overall to be groomed to eventually take over for nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters at left tackle. They used their pair of second-round pick on a pair of skill position players that will become factors for their offense as rookies and could be the go-to options at their respective positions in due time. At No.53 overall, they chose Penn State running back Miles Sanders who not only runs hard but is also regarded as one of the shiftiest backs in this class. Four picks later at No.57 overall, they selected the big-bodied contested catch receiver out of Stanford JJ Arcega-Whiteside. They took another Penn State Nittany Lion on day three when they selected Shareef Miller who grew up in Philadelphia at No.138 overall and will be a welcomed addition to their heavy rotation of talented edge rushers. With their final pick, they drafted Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson to provide a quality backup to starter Carson Wentz. • Washington Redskins: A++ The Cardinals weren’t the only team who had the board fall their way round after round. Patience prevailed in the nation’ capital as they did not have to jump up or package multiple high round picks in future drafts to get the franchise quarterback that they coveted. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins fell right in their laps at No.15 overall and they traded back into the first round to select a sliding Montez Sweat at No.26 overall who will line up on the opposite side of four-time Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan. They added Haskins’ favorite deep threat receiver at Ohio State Terry McLaurin early in the third round at No.76 overall. With their first pick in the fourth round, they selected Stanford’s Bryce Love at No.112 overall who if he fully returns from a torn ACL, could form a four-headed monster in their backfield with Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson and Derrius Guice, who is coming off a torn ACL of his own. They picked a pair of interior linemen with their next two picks in guard Wes Martin of Indiana at No.131 overall in the fourth and Center Ross Pierschbacher of Alabama at No.153 overall in the fifth round. They landed a quartet of late round gems with their final picks of the draft. With their second pick in the fifth round, the took North Carolina linebacker Cole Holcomb at No.173 overall. In the sixth round, they drafted N.C. State’s Kevin Harmon at No.206 overall who many scouts once believed was a first-round talent at one point in the pre-draft process. In the final round, they picked up a pair of defenders who showed great potential in college. They used their first pick in the seventh round on James Madison cornerback Jimmy Moreland who racked up nearly 20 interceptions in four years at No.227 overall. With their last pick, they selected Oklahoma State pass rusher Jordan Brailford who broke out for 10 sacks as a junior at No.253 overall.