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2019 Draft: Top Winner and Loser

by Michael Stewart on Apr. 27, 2019

Winner

  1. The Jacksonville Jaguars:  This was a tough decision picking the top winner in the 2019 draft as the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks were in contention here as well. However; ultimately the Jaguars got the deciding vote by doing nothing and letting the draft come to them. Of course, they got a little help from teams drafting in front of them and passing over top notch prospects. Let’s take a look at the Jacksonville Jaguars selections. The Jaguars were projected to select offensive Tackle Jawaan Taylor with the 7th overall pick in the 1st round. Instead, Giants GM Dave Gettleman made arguably the worse selection in the 1st round; especially at the top of the draft by selecting quarterback Daniel Jones and passing on OLB Jose Allen. The Jaguars were able to select DE/OLB Josh Allen out of Kentucky with the 7th overall pick. Allen surprisingly kept dropping after he was passed over by the Jets at 3, who decided on DT Quinnen Williams out of Alabama. The Raiders, Buccaneers and the Giants all passed on him selecting DE Clelin Ferrell, ILB Devin White and QB Daniel Jones respectfully. Adding an explosive defensive player like Allen onto a team already loaded defensively will make this team a favorite to compete for a playoff spot. Allen could possibly have the same impact defensively as the Giants running back Saquon Barkley had in 2018 on offense. On Day 2, the Jaguars remained patient and let the draft come to them and they were rewarded with the selection of OT Jawaan Taylor. Taylor will now step right into the right tackle position and protect and block for newly acquired free agent quarterback Nick Foles. The Jaguars weren’t done as Day 3 produced some quality picks such as: Tight End Josh Oliver out of San Jose State, who will quickly become one of Nick Foles favorite targets. Quarterback Gardner Minshew II out of Washington State was added, who put up big time numbers for the Cougars in 2018 (47 TDS/4,779 yards/70.7% completion rate/9 ints) and defensive tackle Dontavious Russell out of Auburn was a solid addition with their final pick. This team underachieved in 2018 as a result of inconsistent play from their former quarterback Blake Bortles and injuries. I project this team to bounce back from their 5-11 record in 2018 and Challenge the Texans and Colts for bragging rights on top of the AFC South.

 

Loser

  1. The New York Giants: GM Dave Gettleman preached how the Giants defense needs to improved after a horrendous display of football in 2018. The 2019 draft featured the best group of defensive prospects; especially on the defensive line in many years. The NFL gods gifted wrapped OLB standout Josh Allen, arguably the best defensive player on the board who led the nation in sacks with 17. Allen was not only the BPA (best player available) still on the board, but he also filled a need for the Giants; who were second to last in sacks (30) in 2018. However; Gettleman ignored all the logic and common sense here and reached for quarterback Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in fear that he may not be available when their second 1st round pick (#17) comes around.  Big time reach here and in my opinion a panic move on Gettlemans part. Even if Jones was not available at #17, no one would have blamed Gettleman for passing on him if he had selected Josh Allen. If that wasn’t bad enough, at pick #17 with another highly rated edge rusher still on the board in Montez Sweat, Gettleman selects DT Dexter Lawrence. It’s not that Lawrence is not a talented prospect, he certainly is, however; it’s a lot easier to find a run stuffing defensive tackle in the later rounds than it is to find a top notch edge rusher. Gettleman could have move back at #17 a few spots and acquire an extra pick (2nd or 3rd rounder somewhere between 50-60 slots) and still could have gotten either Lawrence or Sweat. Lastly; with no cornerbacks taken thus far in round 1, Gettleman decides to trade back into the 1st round with the Seattle Seahawks at 30 and surrenders three picks (#37/#132/#142) for DeAndre Baker who was not heads and shoulders above any of the top 5 corners in this draft. Gettleman should have waited it out and let the draft come to him in round 2 and select a cornerback then as there were a couple of options available such as: Trayvon Mullen out of Clemson and Greedy Williams out of LSU. Days 2 and 3 in the draft for Gettleman were not bad as he selected solid value in each round. However; the damage was already done from his Day 1 decisions and the bottom line will be how Daniel Jones will develop and eventually how good will he be. If he is the next Eli Manning and leads the Giants to multiple Super Bowl Championships, fans will forget about him passing on Josh Allen. However; If Daniel Jones follows in the footsteps of former Duke and Giants quarterback Dave Brown, this pick will haunt the Giants for many years and will define Dave Gettlemans legacy as the Giants GM.