I don’t think that assessing 1 round is enough so 2 days gives us more of an option to assess. I unfortunately I feel like there is not enough teams who dominated Day 3 to do a whole article, but I will highlight some points too. I will be looking at this article purely focusing on what really happened, with my personal draft pushed into the back of my mind. What will, however, be a common theme is that each of the teams had a couple of players who were highly rated by me (marked with an “[*]”) – naturally, because that’s why I rated them so high. Also, as a disclaimer: this is really way too early to judge who won the 1st-3rd rounds!
Round 1-2 Top Three Teams
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Overall Jacksonville added great talent all over the pitch and was very lucky that two top 10 rated prospects fell to them in the first and second rounds, plus perhaps the TE with the best hands in the draft. You can’t be more of a winner than that. They might not have as many of my favourite players as the other teams, but in terms of top level talent, without as many high picks, they had an awesome draft
1 (7) Josh Allen (EDGE)
they got a player, which was rated top 4-5 at the 7th spot. If he produces at the expected level, this might end up being one of the luckiest picks of the draft.
2 (35) Jawaan Taylor (OL) [*]
there was a lot of talk of Taylor being the first round pick for the Jags, but he fell to them in the second round. 2nd lucky break in a row – if the health concerns are unwarranted.
3 (69) Josh Oliver (TE) [*]
Olvier was my favourite, purely pass-catching, TE in this draft. The Jags drafted him just before my pick for TE, which meant that he was one of the few pieces I missed out on. He will be an awesome weapon for Nick Foles.
3 (98) Quincy Williams (S/LB)
Hard to judge where he falls in the grand scheme of things, he seems to have some speed, some nasty and some good coverage abilities. Plus he is the older brother of Quinnen Williams the no.3 overall pick so he has some good football genes.
2. Green Bay Packers
If you look at these 4 picks, you could easily argue that this is perhaps the better draft class than the one above. However, then you compare one against one I stay with the Jags up top. Gary right now is a developmental piece compared to the top-5 rated Allen. Jawaan Taylor has a lot higher upside (and a lower floor), while Jenkins has versatility and seems like a pro-ready guy – you can take this one either way. At TE it really depends what you want complete guy then you go Sternberger, pass-catcher you go Oliver – I rate Oliver higher. And lets be honest Savage blows Williams out of the water. So in the end Jacksonville wins for me for getting their high value picks without having two first rounders, BUT the packers class is neck in neck in terms of potential.
1 (12) Rashan Gary (DE) [*]
On my list of guys to target, simply because he has such great upside. BUT, he has to put it all together at the next level, otherwise he will end up being one of those “forever-talents”. In that sense I was glad to get Burns, who in my eyes is further along with his development.
1 (21) Darnell Savage (S) [*]
Probably my biggest draft regret. I think that he will go on to be a pro bowl level talent in the not so distant future. If everything clicks into place he will be one of the best Safeties in the game. For my overall draft though it made more sense to go DE high (the only place where you had outstanding talent in my opinion) and then tap into the depth at the safety class later on. Nonetheless, this guy is special.
2 (44) Elgton Jenkins (OL)
Has played both tackle spots and then thrived at center where he was instrumental in the run game. Knows how to move and is a great blocker. I’m not going to full assess him, but he seems to have a good level of pro-traits to make it on the next level.
3 (75) Jace Sternberger (TE) [*]
A very complete TE, who I also ended up taking in the draft. For me he was a top 5 TE, so getting him in the third round was a great pickup.
3. Denver Broncos
This draft class also has 3 guys who were on my shortlist, and one who wasn’t – Drew Lock – because I thought he would be drafted top 15 and he was not rated that highly by me. Similarly to how I would not have drafted Will Grier that high. When he was still kicking around for my 3rd pick (no.41 overall), that seemed like a really good bargain. So that’s how I evaluate him for the Broncos who took him one pick later at 42. Evaluating the value of this draft, though, also means conceding that they overdrafted on Fant (in my opinion. He has the physical gifts, but he doesn’t have the hands, which doesn’t make him a top 20 1st round pick in my eyes. In Risner and Jones they got two more players on day two who I rated very highly and who, I feel, drifted under the rader more than they should have.
1 (20) Noah Fant (TE) [*]
Most athletically gifted TE in the draft, but I feel that comparisons can be made to the athleticism of Metcalf (WR), even though having a couple more pounds will do Fant good, where Metcalf may have some problems. But as much as Metcalf was a bargain at the end of the 2nd round, Fant was a reach in the first and the truth is that he should have been drafted somewhere at the beginning of the 2nd round. Nonetheless, he gives the Broncos and uber-athletic vertical threat.
2 (41) Dalton Risner (OL) [*]
One of my favourite OLinemen in the draft. I drafted him in my own draft as high as the first round and didn’t feel like I was reaching. Has the versatility of having played multiple positions on the line at a high standard and as a personality he is a top guy too, with his own foundation already at such a young age. Watching him in interviews I believe that he is the type of guy who can mature into a leader.
2 (42) Drew Lock (QB)
I have already spoken about how good value I think this pick is. So here is which boxes he ticks: high energy leader, plus arm talent (that needs refinement – but he can make all of the passes downfield), not a pure pocket passer (he has undervalued movement skills), he has experience in a system that uses RPOs and deep shots to alleviate the run game, he had to play 3 systems in 4 years at Missouri and therefore may take a big jump when he gets into one solid system in the pros and one thing all Seahawks fans would have loved: not very many sacks due to his mobility, instead of moving into sacks. He could end up being one of the steals of the draft and has a Super Bowl winner to learn behind in Flacco.
3 (71) Dre‘mont Jones (DT) [*]
As mentioned before, I think he didn’t get enough hype before the draft. He isn’t a ridiculous jump off the page guy, but he will create consistent pressure up the middle without needing to come off the pitch all day long. Translating those kind of skills to the NFL means that he will still have gas in the tank later on in the game, when a lot of rookies struggle. I don’t know if I would say that his ceiling is crazy high, but I think he will become a top guy who will not have so many ups and down but instead stay consistent.
There were three other teams, plus the Seahawks, who I though had exciting drafts Day 1 and 2, here are some notes on them:
Kansas City Chiefs
I feel like the Chiefs went for raw athleticism in this draft. I had all three on my shortlist and I can tell you that all three are freaks. Hardman has the kind of game breaking speed that Lockett has. Thornhill tested off the charts (99th percentile in the broad and vert) as well as having a 92th percentile 40. At 324 lbs Saunders, a DT, can do backflips and flip off his arms like a gymnast.
2 (56) Mecole Hardman (WR) [*]
2 (63) Juan Thornhill (S) [*]
3 (84) Kahlen Saunders (DT) [*]
When you have the no.1 overall pick you have to make it count. That’s why I rate them very highly for picking the guy who was a 100% a scheme fit for the system of their new coach Kingsbury. Even if it then meant trading away last year’s top 10 draft pick way under value. Murphy is a top CB who will fit in nicely opposite Peterson and alongside fellow alumi Baker. I rated Isabella very highly and there are some similarities to their 2nd round WR pick last year: Christian Kirk, who I was also a fan of. Plus it gives them another target when they are expected to play with 4-5 WR sets. Allen is a top run defender who can play inside and out. Overall you have to say that they did a good job.
1 (1) Kyler Murray (QB) [*]
2 (33) Byron Murphy (CB)
2 (62) Andy Isabella (WR) [*]
3 (65) Zach Allen (Edge)
This feels like a very Colts draft. When I think of them I think of clean, tough, athleticism with explosive testing and high upside. That fits for at least Ya-Sin, Banogu and Okereke. Campbell doesn’t quite have the toughness, but he has the athleticism and high upside. Okereke had similar athleticism and combine results to Leonard last year and I though he was a LB with big upside if he can put it all together at the next level. He and Leonard could become a formidable pair in time.
2 (34) Rock Ya-Sin (CB)
2 (49) Ben Banogu (EDGE)
2 (59) Parris Campbell (WR) [*]
3 (89) Bobby Okereke (LB) [*]
As it was happening I was a bit unsure about the Seahawks draft, but the more I looked at it the more I liked it. I think L.J. Collier has the tools to develop very fast at the next level. Marquise Blair is a heat seeking missile out of the secondary, who has the potential to bring fear back into the WRs who dare to go there – like a mixture of Kam and Earl. Cody Barton is a good back up, but I don’t see him challenging for a starting spot, which is a bit of a let down. Finally, Metcalf has the potential to be either the biggest boom or bust of this draft class. If he reaches his potential then the Seahawks have done everything right on the first two days, if not then they fall way short of expectation.
1 (29) L.J. Collier (DE)
2 (47) Marquise Blair (S)
2 (64) D.K. Metcalf (WR)
3 (88) Cody Barton (OLB)
- Clelin Ferrell (No.4 pick; Oakland Raiders) A lot has been said about how he was completely overdrafted and could have gone a lot later. There are a couple of things I would say about that. First of all, don’t judge a player before he has taken his first snap. Second of all, if the Raiders wanted those three guys on day 1, then Ferrell was the right one to go off the board first – and any team looks to work as may of their highlighted players into the draft if they needed to pick these guys in the first round to get there then fair enough. Third and most importantly, before he has even taken his first snap, he is already showing himself to be a leader, on stage at his presser with the other first round picks he dominated the conversation in a positive way – that is what Mayock said that he wants from him and that is what they will get, plus much more.
- Josh Rosen (trade Cardinals to Dolphins) After Murray was drafted no.1 overall, this became inevitable in my eyes. The Dolphins did well to hang in and drive the price down to a 2nd pick 2019 and 5th pick 2020, for a top 10 draft pick last year. So that alone is already worth commending (factoring in the minor cost due to what the Cardinals are obligated to pay), but I think it goes further. I was really high on Rosen, ranking him above Sam Darnold (Jets) and Josh Allen (Bills) due to his high IQ, great footwork, outstanding mechanics and because I like the way he plays the game. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that there are some comparisons to Aaron Rodgers in his game and I think that Rosen has a very high ceiling. To be honest it really bothered me how much stick he got for last season, where he just wasn’t protected – being primarily a pocket passer with plus movement out of the pocket. I’m very happy that he is getting a fresh start with a new organisation, where I think they have a chance to really build around him.
- Falcons gave up on day 2 for two of my highest rated OL prospects in Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. I have to say that while this is a very radical choice, I don’t think it was stupid. You are double dipping on one of the most important position groups high in the draft, who will help your franchise QB – in turn helping your WRs and TEs – and quality run game. So on offense that was a big help, in a draft where there was great depth on the defensive side of the ball. On the flip side I feel like they then missed out on getting those impact players up the spine of their defense (DT, LB and S). From my top targets they could have picked up Sheldrick Redwine (S, Browns, 119 overall), Ben Burr-Kirvin (LB, Seahawks, 142 overall) and Daylon Mack (DT, Ravens, 160 overall) with their own first three Day 3 picks (111, 135 and 152 overall). Of course, I am happy that they didn’t pick up BBK because now he is with the Seahawks!
there were a lot of teams with one or two players picked in the latter rounds that I liked, but no one stood out to me, so I’m not going to do a big piece on it. One thing I did want to highlight is this pick:
Round 6; 178 Overall – Jacksonville Jaguars – Gardner Minshew (QB)
I have already highlighted the wins that the Jags made on days 1 and 2, but for some reason they also managed to make a big win in terms of QB on day 3. I was tempted to take him myself when he was still sitting there for my Tyree Jackson pick in the 5th round, because he is a hugely underrated prospect in my eyes. I think that he has the swagger of a slightly less badass Baker Mayfield. He makes his throws quick and accurate and he is a guy people will look to as a leader. Thinking about it now he may become a draft regret.
I think the Seahawks did a really good job on day 3. I think they could have done better with their first pick on day 3, because I was not very high on Jennings. Haynes and Burr-Kirven I have talked about how they are two players that I also drafted. Amadi could have great upside at safety and WR Ursua might end up being a very exciting player indeed. I really liked that move even though I had never heard of the guy when the pick happened.
Altogether I think that the Jaguars may have managed to pick up the most value picks, throughout the draft process. Whether it finally trumps some of the other draft classes I mentioned here is the question though because they had players I rated higher.
I have to say that the Seahawks also did a good job in these rounds and I actually like it more and more, the more I look at it.
The biggest problem I have with doing a summary of this is that it is like judging a book before reading it. So that makes little sense. Let’s see how these guys do in 2019 and then evaluate them next year. I do have to say though that I am very excited to see how these drafts perform and will keep a closer eye on them.