He 2019 NFL Draft is in the books, and everybody has an opinion of how the teams did. In reality, nobody will know how these classes will turn out until a few years have passed. All we can do now is speculate, and grade the draft based on our own pre-draft rankings. With that in mind, here are my own rankings of all 32 draft classes, based on my big board, and my opinions.
32. Houston Texans: The Texans desperately needed offensive line help. Deshaun Watson took too many hits last year, and can’t survive many more seasons like that. The Texans did address the line, but passed up more proven talents for high upside guys. Tytus Howard and Max Scharping might develop into terrific players, but they might not help this coming season. They also picked cornerback Lonnie Johnson ahead of where I had him graded. The only value pick based on my board was Charles Omenihu.
31. Chicago Bears: Without a pick in the first two rounds, it’s hard to get many high impact players. However, David Montgomery and Riley Ridley were both solid selections and should be able to contribute to the team early on. Montgomery, in particular, was a very good value, and could be an important part of the offense.
30. Atlanta Falcons: The offensive line was clearly targeted by the Falcons, who took one in each of the first two rounds. Chris Lindstrom is a solid player, but taken a bit high on my board. Kaleb McGary was picked well ahead of where I had him graded. John Cominsky was a solid pick in round four.
29. Dallas Cowboys: This was another team without a first round selection. Their first pick was Trysten Hill, who was a reach for me. Connor McGovern was a solid pick in round three, and Joe Jackson was a value a few rounds later. Running back Mike Weber is an interesting pick who has the potential to help.
28. Seattle Seahawks: There was a lot of wheeling a dealing in the Seattle war room, but they didn’t take full advantage. LJ Collier is a nice player, but was taken a few rounds early on my board. DK Metcalf was a steal, even if he struggles with certain parts of the game. Travis Homer was a nice late round pick.
27. New York Jets: The Jets may have gotten the best player in the draft in Quinnen Williams. The defensive tackle was #2 overall on my board. He will play right away, and if his tape is any indication, he will be a force to be reckoned with. It’s a home run pick. However, in round two, they picked Jachai Polite, who had the worst lead up to the draft in recent memory. He was was a huge reach based on my board. Blake Cashman was a good pick in the later rounds.
26. Cleveland Browns: With no second round pick, the Browns got a gift when Greedy Williams fell into their laps. I had a first round grade on him, but there are certainly some questions to be answered. They also took a linebacker with upside in Mack Wilson. The team got more athletic with their picks, but it remains to be seen if they got better.
25. New York Giants: The draft haul by the Giants is a tough one to grade. Daniel Jones was a 4th round player for me, so their first pick was a reach, though one that makes sense for them. Dexter Lawrence is a terrific player, but picked too high for me. DeAndre Baker has skills, but does he have enough speed? They still have a lot of questions despite having three first round picks. Julian Love was a really nice pickup. Darius Slayton and Corey Ballentine were value picks late.
24. Green Bay Packers: Anyone who as followed my draft thoughts this offseason knows I did not see Rashan Gary as a first round pick. The Packers disagreed. He has talent, but has never managed to put things together on the field. The Packers are an interesting fit. Darnell Savage was a top 30 player on my board, and I love what he brings. I like Elgton Jenkins and Jace Sternberger as well, though Jenkins was picked a bit high. Dexter Williams could be a nice player.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: While they didn’t have many picks, they did get some really good values. Juan Thornhill was considered by most to be one of the top safeties in the draft. He was an excellent pick for them. Khalen Saunders was another great pick, and should help improve a defense that was not good in 2018. Mecole Hardman was a bit of a reach, but he does fit the offense and brings some of the speed they’ll lose with Tyreek Hill likely gone.
22. Indianapolis Colts: I like many of the players the Colts drafted, and this ranking could be higher in a few years. Like the Browns, they drafted lots of upside. Rock Ya-Sin is a physical cornerback taken slightly early. Parris Campbell has speed to burn at receiver. Bobby Okereke is a rangy linebacker. All were drafted a little ahead of where I had them, but could be contributors early. Ben Banogu had a fourth round grade, and they chose him in round two.
21. Detroit Lions: There’s no doubting the Lions got a good one by taking TJ Hockenson with the 8th overall pick. He could be a star, and can do it all. However, after that, they took several guys well ahead of their position on my board. Amani Oruwariye was a terrific pick in the later rounds as well, and should have gone three of rounds earlier than he did.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers started off by getting a good player in Devin Bush, but they traded up to get him. Trading up for a non-quarterback is not a great strategy. Justin Layne was a steal in round three and could be the answer to the secondary woes in Pittsburgh. They also got a couple of nice late round possibilities in Ulysees Gilbert and Isaiah Buggs. They made a couple of pretty big reaches early on, though.
19. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury was mocked to the Vikings by many people, so it was no surprise when they selected him. He’s the best interior offensive lineman in the class. Dru Samia was a good value pick by them later on as well. Irv Smith is a solid choice as well. Kris Boyd was a late round value. It wasn’t the most exciting draft, but it was solid.
18. Los Angeles Rams: After trading back, the Rams didn’t pick until the end of round two, but got a nice value by picking Taylor Rapp. They followed that up a few picks later with another great pick in Darrell Henderson, who will play early. David Long and Bobby Evans were also solid choices. The Rams did well despite not having a ton of picks.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White was one of my favorite players in this draft, and picking him 5th overall was the right call. He can be an elite player. The strengthened the secondary with three straight defensive backs after that. Sean Bunting was a little lower on my board, but has upside. Jamel Dean and Mike Edwards were solid picks at their draft position. Anthony Nelson was picked in round four, but had a second round grade, and thus was another great pick. Terry Beckner was a late value pick.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to the playoffs last year, but still has plenty of doubters. To address that, plenty of weapons were added. Marquise Brown may be the best receiver in this class. He has speed and is an excellent route runner. Miles Boykin was also a good value on by board. Justice Hill is an athletic running back who can be an offensive weapon as well. Jaylon Ferguson was a poor value for me, but Daylon Mack was a nice pick in round five.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Like the Ravens, the 49ers set out to get some weapons for their young quarterback. First, though, they grabbed the best edge rusher in the draft in Nick Bosa. He was the each choice second overall. After that, they drafted Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, two receivers I liked a lot, and tight end Kaden Smith, who was a terrific value in round six.
14. New Orleans Saints: The Saints had previously traded away their first round pick, but got a nice addition in Erik McCoy in round two. McCoy had some first round buzz. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was a first round pick for me who they managed to pick in round four as one of the best values of the whole draft. Alize Mack was a steal in round seven.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: Many analysts had Andre Dillard as the best tackle in the draft. I had a few ahead of him, but there’s no denying his upside. Running back Miles Sanders was a solid pick, and value, in round two as well. He and third-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside were really good picks who can play right away. Arcega-Whiteside in particular was a huge value. Clayton Thorson was a nice pickup late.
12. Cincinnati Bengals: With their first round selection, the Bengals took the best offensive lineman in the draft in Jonah Williams. He’s an immediate upgrade to a line that struggled in 2018. The middle rounds were reaches, but they might have hit gold on day three. Trayveon Williams was a huge value, and Rodney Anderson might be an absolute steal if he’s healthy. Michael Jordan and Renell Wren were also nice value picks who can find playing time early on.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen was my #4 overall player, so getting him with pick #7 was tremendous. Then, they got another top 15 player in Jawaan Taylor in round two. He has some injury concerns, but is mega-talented. Tight end Josh Oliver was a solid pick where he was taken as well. The Jags didn’t have a lot of picks, but they got a lot of mileage out of the few they did have.
10. Tennessee Titans: One of the wildcards of this draft was Jeffrey Simmons, who is coming off an knee injury. He’s a top 10 player if healthy, but won’t play in 2019. He’s still a great pick at #19. AJ Brown was over-shadowed by DK Metcalf, but is a terrific receiver in his own right. Amani Hooker was a solid mid-round pick, and linebacker David long was a steal in round six.
9. Los Angeles Chargers: I am a big fan of Jerry Tiller. The first round pick might wind up one of the stars of this class. He fits the Chargers nicely too. In the second round, LA got a steal in safety Nasir Adderly. He’s versatile and also fits what the Chargers do on defense. He had a top 20 grade on my board. Another big value was Dru Tranquill who I graded a few rounds higher than he was selected. Cortez Broughton was a good late-round pick.
8. New England Patriots: The Patriots have found success over the years with undersized but athletic receivers. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t looked at some bigger outside threats. This year, they used their first round pick on N’Keal Harry, who I like a lot. They also got value with Chase Winovich, who plays with maximum effort. Damien Harris and Hjalte Froholdt were solid picks, and Yodny Cajuste was taken in round three, but I had a first round grade on him. Jarrett Stidham is a quarterback with upside.
7. Arizona Cardinals: I did not have a first round grade on Kyler Murray, and I did not like taking another quarterback a year after using a top ten pick on one. However, they got more than just Murray in this draft. Byron Murphy was a good value at cornerback. Andy Isabella and Zach Allen were both good picks, but Hakeem Butler was a first round player on my board, and they got him in round four. Late rounders KeeSean Johson and Lamont Gaillard were also solid picks.
6. Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins made some really nice selections in this draft. Christian Wilkins was a top ten player who they picked at #13. Michael Deiter was a good value in round three and Isaiah Prince was a potential steal in the fifth. Miles Gaskin is an exciting addition as well. However, what made this draft great is using a couple of non-first round picks to acquire Josh Rosen, who would have been my highest graded QB in this class. He was my top passer last year. Getting him for a discounted price was genius.
5. Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns was a top five player who the Panthers managed to draft with pick #16. He has the skills to be a double-digit sack guy every year. Will Grier was my top quarterback in the class, although most didn’t agree with me. Christian Miller was another pass rusher they got good value on. Jordan Scarlett and Dennis Daley were nice late round picks. They got value on nearly every pick.
4. Denver Broncos: The Broncos were another team who didn’t didn’t have a lot of picks. They maximized what they had, though. Noah Fant was a top 10 player for me, and they traded down and still got him. They also got a steal in Dalton Risner, who was another top 15 player on my board. Drew Lock was taken a bit above where I had him, but not a lot and quarterbacks always go higher. Dre’Mont Jones was also a solid pick, and Justin Hollins has upside.
3. Oakland Raiders: When the first round was over, the Raiders picks looked like head-scratchers. However, Clelin Ferrell was a solid first rounder. He doesn’t have the upside of a few others, but he can certainly play both the run and pass. Josh Jacobs was the best running back in the class, and Johnathan Abram is a tone-setting safety. All three are good players. Maxx Crosby might be a steal in round four. Hunter Renfrow was one of the steals of the draft in round seven, and Foster Moreau was a terrific value as well. The Raiders got a boatload of good players.
2. Buffalo Bills: Defensive tackle Ed Oliver was the best player in the draft in my opinion, and getting him with the ninth pick was grand larceny. Then they doubled down on their thievery by getting Cody Ford in round two. He was another top 20 player. Devin Singletary was good value and will play early. Then Dawson Knox was graded a round higher than he was taken too. The Bills made a ton of smart decisions and definitely improved their team over the weekend.
1 Washington Redskins: First of all, it should be noted that I had a second round grade on Dwayne Haskins. However, they picked him at #15, when many thought they’d trade up to get him. They also grabbed Montez Sweat in round one, but not late, where he still had good value. Terry McLaurin and Bryce Love were two good picks in the middle rounds, but Kelvin Harmon was an absolute steal in round six. Jimmy Moreland could be a late-round find as well, and was liked by most analysts. They nailed nearly every pick. At least it appears that way now. Check back in a few years, and we’ll see.