The 2019 NFL Draft is complete and while everyone is focusing on the winners and losers from the weekend, we’re not going to bore you with all that positive mumbo jumbo. So here’s our look at all the losers from the 2019 draft.
New York Giants
I’m starting to think maybe Dave Gettleman doesn’t have any clue what he’s doing. The Giants believe they got their quarterback of the future in Duke’s Daniel Jones, but selected him at No. 6 overall, when no one was ever going to take him that high. The Giants could have probably waited until their second pick (No. 17) to select him. Meanwhile, they passed on Dwayne Haskins to select the player Scouts Inc. ranked as the sixth-best signal-caller available.
Look, if you’re a huge fan of Jones, fine, I’m not going to argue with you. He could wind up being a nice NFL quarterback, but he doesn’t look like a future star. The Giants could have traded down and stockpiled assets, or filled a more valuable need at No. 6.
As for the rest of their high picks, Dexter Lawrence was a solid pick at No. 17 and Deandre Baker (30th pick) is a perfectly fine cornerback. But when a team has three first-round picks, you expect them to do something monumental or somehow franchise-altering. New York didn’t accomplish that.
Third-round pick Oshane Ximines has upside but needs to bulk up and will face a big jump in competition. Fourth-rounder Julian Love is a versatile corner without a lot of upside. New York swung big in the fifth round by snagging Auburn wideout Darius Slayton. He has elite top-end speed, but he needs to develop a lot as a route runner and he doesn’t have great hands.
Despite a ton of picks, I’m not convinced the Giants really got better in this year’s draft. That’s a massive indictment of the front office.
Cam Newton needs help. Badly. And the Carolina Panthers didn’t get it for him. He has two years left on his contract and the 29-year-old former MVP wants an enormous new deal. He’s not going to get that with the roster he has around him.
Second-round pick Greg Little never lived up to the hype as a highly-recruited offensive tackle at Ole Miss, but the talent is there. They need him to start at left tackle immediately. The rest of the draft failed to give Newton the weapons he needs to compete at the highest level.
It also had to burn Newton that with the 100th pick, the Panthers grabbed Will Grier and not another weapon for him.
The Raiders may have gotten “their guys” but it should be unsettling to them that no one else was into those same guys. The Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell with the fourth pick in the draft, which was roughly 20 spots higher than anyone else would have considered him.
Then Oakland took Josh Jacobs at No. 24. The Alabama running back was the best player at his position in the draft, but it was a painfully weak class. Plus, taking a running back in the first round is rarely a good idea, unless he’s a game-changer.
The rest of the draft was filled with guys who likely won’t be much more than placeholders. The only pick I actually liked was Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram (27th overall pick), though it will be tough to get him on the field with Karl Joseph and LaMarcus Joyner already on the roster.
As with the Giants, when a team has three first-round picks, you expect a franchise-changing draft. This wasn’t that.
Deionte Thompson was one of the best safeties in college football over the past few years and a unanimous All-American in 2018. Smart and instinctive, the Alabama defensive back has great range and takes great paths to the ball and ball-carriers. That’s an elite pedigree, yet somehow he fell to the fifth round of the draft.
He wound up being the 15th safety off the board, largely due to questions about a degenerative knee condition. He played every game during the 2018 season and hasn’t shown an adverse effects. But the potential for a long-term issue was a serious concern.
Thompson was a leader and the pulse of Alabama’s defense.