Round One of the 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone and after a round full of trades, surprising picks and some of the expected selections, it’s time to break down some of the biggest takeaways of the night.
Josh Rosen is Officially Available for Trade
The Cardinals tried being coy during the draft process, but Rosen was always available and now that the Cardinals have spent the second consecutive year taking a quarterback in the opening round, Rosen is expendable. Reportedly, the Cardinals were trying to hold out to get a first rounder for the No. 10 selection last year, but with everyone knowing they would have to deal him after selecting Kyler Murray, teams balked at the price. Arizona lost a number of suitors last night, specifically NFC East rivals News York and Washington, but there are still a number of teams who could land him, including New England and the Los Angeles Chargers, who have a pair of quarterbacks in the twilight of their careers.
The favorite for Rosen now, I believe, is Miami. They traded Ryan Tannehill to Tennessee last month and signed 36-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is nothing more than a stop-gap. I was a big fan of Rosen during last year’s draft process and am surprised Arizona hasn’t landed a deal yet, but I would expect something to happen today. Rosen has the makings to be a franchise quarterback and is more than worth a second rounder.
The Giants are a Team Without a Plan
All year NY been saying tank for the Duke kid but why did the Giants think we were talking about them ? 😩
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) April 26, 2019
An overall assessment of the David Gettleman era so far is worth an article on it’s own, but to keep it to this draft class alone, the Giants took a quarterback in the top 10 that many didn’t even see as a first round talent and took a run stuffer with the draft pick they acquired from the Odell Beckham Jr. trade after trading away the league’s best run stuffer at last year’s trade deadline. There were so many better avenues for the Giants to take. They could have traded their second round pick to Arizona for Rosen. They could have selected Josh Allen, one of the draft’s best edge rushers, at No. 6 and traded up to select Jones or, given how the draft shook out, waited at 17 and selected Drew Lock, who I feel is the second-best signal caller in the draft. New York did trade back into the first round to select DeAndre Baker and while I like Baker, I also don’t see him as the No. 1 cornerback in this class.
Year-to-date, the Giants are surprisingly in worst shape this year than they were last year. It’s going to be a long season at MetLife.
Teams Value the Fifth-Year Option
This year, the Giants, Falcons and Redskins all traded back into the first round while Seattle acquired a second first round pick earlier this week. New York moved up six spots to select Baker, a guy who could have potentially been available at the Giants next selection (37), but being able to have five years of team control over four over him was too good to pass up.
ESPN Continues to Have No Issue Sharing Violent Videos
In 2017, the Cincinnati Bengals used a second round pick to select Joe Mixon, a talented running back whose stock fell after a video came out of him hitting a woman. With the increased focus on domestic violence ever since the Ray Rice incident, players with these flags are scrutinized more than the average prospect, and deservedly so. ESPN decided it was necessary to air the video of the incident when Mixon was selected and did so again this year when the Titans selected Jeffery Simmons, who beat a woman during an altercation involving his mother and sister in 2016 when he was a high school senior. I think it’s necessary to mention incidents like this and teams should be prepared for the public relations blowback when they do make these decisions, but airing those videos serve no purpose during draft coverage and could potentially cause the victim to relive their trauma. Shame on you, ESPN.
Pittsburgh Stuck it to Their Divisional Rival
Inside linebacker was a position of need for both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and the Steelers knew how much the Bengals liked Devin Bush. The Steelers had the option to trade up to No. 8, as the Lions were looking to trade down, but instead waited until the pick just before the Bengals to pull the rug out under their feet. There’s no love lost between these two franchises.
Size is No Longer a Significant Concern
Last year, it was significant when Baker Mayfield measured in at 6-feet tall. This year, Kyler Murray came in at 5-foot-10 and it was a win for him. Playing at a tiny 195 pounds at Oklahoma, Murray weighed 207 pounds at the combine, but it looks like the days of the prototypical 6-foot-5, 235 pound signal callers are gone. And it’s not just the quarterback position. Wide receiver Marquise Brown went in the first round despite being 5-foot-9, 166 pounds.
Green Bay Defied Expectations
After spending heavily on defense in free agency, signing Adrian Amos, ZaDarius Smith and Preston Smith, the expectation was that the Packers would focus on offense with their two first round picks. Instead, they continued plugging away on defense, adding Rashan Gary at No. 12 and then trading up to select Darnell Savage, a surprising first round pick. Perhaps they address the offensive line with their second round pick.
D.K. Metcalf’s Pros Didn’t Outweigh His Cons
Metcalf’s college career was marred with injuries that kept him off the field and being outproduced by teammate A.J. Brown on the field. Despite this, he dazzled at the combine and it elevated him to the point that many people (undeservedly) expected him to be the first receiver off the board. After the opening round, Metcalf is still without a new home and it’s now fair to wonder whether Brown is selected before him.
The Injury Flags Weren’t as Concerning as We Thought
Rashan Gary, Montez Sweat, Marquise Brown and Jeffery Simmons all came with significant injury concerns that many believe could knock them out of the first round. Instead, all four were selected. Tennessee may have to take a redshirt season with Simmons, who tore his ACL while preparing for the draft, but his overall talent prevented him from slipping too far.
Cornerbacks, Wide Receivers May be Significant in Round Two
Only two receivers and one cornerback were selected in the opening round of the draft. While neither position is especially strong in this draft class, it was still a bit of a surprise to see so few players at the position selected. With players like Metcalf, Brown, Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy available, expect this to change tonight.