The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft has been completed. It was probably one of the more interesting opening rounds in recent memory. Some picks played out the way many us expected, while others seemed to have come out of nowhere. Here are a few takeaways:
Arizona Drafts Kyler Murray, but Doesn’t Deal Rosen: As many expected, the Cardinals delivered as promised and selected the Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma. I held out on an outside chance that Arizona would think logically and draft a player to fill one of two obvious needs: offensive line or defensive line. Initially, I thought they may draft Nick Bosa or perhaps trade down and get an offensive lineman. They obviously weren’t listening to me and they went with Murray. Along with that, the Cardinals did not deal Josh Rosen. The way the organization has handled this is complete garbage. He should have been dealt to another team months ago when teams were searching for a quarterback. Instead, they kept him in the dark and from going to a team that would actually utilize his services. This move was completely disrespectful.
Day of the Offensive Linemen, but with a Twist: As expected, a lot of selections featured offensive linemen. It serves as no shock. This draft probably has the most talented group of young men ever assembled at that position. There were two surprises: 1) The Texans chose Tytus Howard, OT, from Alabama State University. This guy is an absolute beast, but he wasn’t expected to be taken off the board in the first round; especially ahead of guys like Cody Ford and Jawaan Taylor. He has a great story. I am happy for him. The Texans have a glaring need at the offensive line position. So, they went with him, but over Ford and Taylor. Truly surprising. 2) Ford and Taylor did not get selected in the first round. This comes as a total shock; especially due to the rave reviews drawn by analysts and coaches leading up to the draft. Both of those young men will serve a steal for teams at the top of the 2nd round draft order. As a matter of fact, to piggy back on the previous point, it would serve Arizona well to take one of these two players with their pick. The way I see it, the Cardinals were given big gift here. Take advantage of it.
Quarterbacks Drop, but Some Rise: This year’s quarterback draft class was not particularly strong. However, the media tried desperately to make us believe it was. We have been force fed the idea that some names were worth of a 1st round selection. I wasn’t buying it, but some teams did. Kyler Murry, of course, was the anointed leader of this crusade, followed by the other guys. At No.6, a lot of people speculated the Giants would choose a successor to Eli Manning. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was the guy pinned to be the selection. However, the G-Men went a different direction and selected Daniel Jones, QB from Duke. He’s a great player and smart kid. I’ve liked him from day one. However, we thought he would be chosen more towards the end of the first round. Instead, New York feels like this is their “post-Manning” choice. So, Jones it is. The next signal caller taken off the board was Buckeye QB Haskins by the Washington Redskins. Some felt if he didn’t land with the Giants, this would be his home. With the future of Alex Smith uncertain or a stable replacement equally more uncertain, Washington felt they had to address this need right away. Dwayne is their guy. He’s a good player at his position. After all, you don’t throw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns by accident. Next, there’s Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. Many speculated he would be one of the first at his position taken, after Murray of course. For months, it was suggested that John Elway and company would select him to be the future of the Denver Broncos. That was not the case as he still remains undrafted. The Broncos or Patriots may still go that route on day 2; especially with it being a safer pick at round 2 rather than round 1. I felt out of this group, he was the better of the candidates, but coaches felt differently. With him still being there, this should make the next few rounds interesting.
That was just a few of my immediate take-aways from the first round. Obviously, I could dig deeper with a few others. However, it was a good first round. So, no need to go further. We, as an audience, should be primed for an exciting second; especially with the talent that is still available. If you don’t think so, I will give you a few to light the fire: Cody Ford, Jawaan Taylor, Greedy Williams, Irv Smith Jr, Byron Murphy, AJ Brown, Mack Wilson, Deionte Thompson, Rock Ya-Sin, Miles Sanders, and Damien Harris. If that doesn’t grab your interest, you don’t like football.
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!