This year’s NFL draft was… interesting. No skill position (excluding quarterbacks) player was drafted until pick 24. The last time a skill position player wasn’t drafted in the top 10 was in 2002.
With that, this is possibly one of the better years in recent history to trade your first rounder. Yes, that does depend on what compensation you received, what pick you would’ve had, and what personnel you needed.
The Winners (Round 1)
- Cleveland Browns: received Odell Beckham Jr. (WR, LSU) in exchange for pick 17 (Dexter Lawrence, Clemson DE), pick 95 (Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion LB), and Jabrill Peppers (S, Michigan)
- Chicago Bears: received Khalil Mack (LB, University at Buffalo) and a 2nd round pick (2020) in exchange for pick 24 (Josh Jacobs, RB Alabama), 2020 first round pick
- Dallas Cowboys: received Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama) for pick 27 (Johnathan Abram, S Mississippi State)
(Honorable Mention: New Orleans Saints: received Marcus Davenport [DE, UTSA] for a 2019 first round pick [Darnell Savage, S Maryland] and 2018 5th round pick [Marquez Valdez-Scantling, WR USF]).
“I’m very happy to have Odell Beckham Jr. as the 17th pick in the 2019 #NFLDraft.” — GM John Dorsey
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 26, 2019
The common theme with these teams is that they all came via trading their pick for a better player than they would’ve gotten this year. The Browns and Bears got superstar, once-in-a-decade talented players while giving up so little.
Winners Who Actually Picked
- Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State; Montez Sweat, DE Mississippi State
- Tennessee Titans: Jeffery Simmons, DT Mississippi State
- Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma
All of these organizations addressed their needs and did so at a very reasonable price. Washington landed Haskins at 15 when he was a projected top 8-10 pick. Tennessee landed a top 10 prospect in Simmons at 19.
Multiple teams viewed new Titans’ DT Jeffrey Simmons as a top-5 pick, even though he went at No. 19. One even called him “the best player in this draft.” Of course there are well-documented disturbing issues with him.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2019
Arizona is a tough one because everyone either hates or loves the pick. Depending on what you think of Kyler in the NFL, where they’re ranked will vary drastically. Regardless, they addressed their QB need and got the best quarterback in the draft.
The QB class was also very thin this year, and outside of the top 4 or 5 guys, there was not much talent. The Group of 5 had zero quarterbacks drafted, but only 11 total came off the board.
There were not as many G5 players off the board as expected, however, some guys have the opportunity to build a great career in their new found homes.
Drafted G5 Players Most Likely to Make a Name For Themselves
- Ed Oliver (DT), Houston to Buffalo Bills – This is one of the most obvious choices. Oliver, the 9th pick in the draft, and will likely be an instant starter for the Bills. The Bills are hunting young talent to build around their second year QB Josh Allen, and Oliver will fit right in.
- Sean Bunting (DB), Central Michigan to Tampa Bay Bucs – Tampa has a thin and young secondary. Bunting will not be the main man on the defense but will have a great opportunity to learn alongside Vernon Hargreaves.
- Max Scharping (OL), Northern Illinois to Houston Texans – Another player who will fill right into a thin position group, Scharping found a great fit with a team who is need of a strong offensive line. Scharping has the ability to play guard or tackle and had playing time at both for the Huskies. His versatility allows him to fill in wherever needed.
- Josh Oliver (TE), San Jose State to Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jags leading tight end in receptions tallied up just 24 catches last season. Oliver had over double that with 56 at SJSU last year. The Jags, a team who threw the ball 53.3% of the time in 2018, is giving Nick Foles a great young pass catcher in Josh Oliver. Oliver posted the 3rd fastest 40 time for a TE, and is a great receiving TE who will have a Super Bowl MVP throwing to him.
There were many talented draft picks out of the G5 this year and I couldn’t have listed all them. Some other notable guys are Trysten Hill (UCF to Dallas), Rock Ya-Sin (Temple to Indianapolis), and Jahlani Tavai (Hawaii to Detroit).
The 2019 Draft is over, so we move onwards to the dead of football season until late July. The 2019 NFL season should be great, and will be capped off with a phenomenal 2020 G5 draft class.