With 11 picks in the draft going into Kliff Kingsbury’s first year as head coach of the Cardinals, Steve Keim and company absolutely knocked their picks out of the park. They did just about everything they could to make sure Kyler Murray’s first season in the NFL looks nothing close to Josh Rosen’s.
They picked varied, yet big-time wide receivers to make sure their new QB has plenty of mouths to feed. Isabaella (4.31) is going to be their new speed threat, Butler can step in and play inside or out, although he finds more success in the slot, and then Johnson will be another well-rounded wideout option they can play with who may have the best hands of the trio.
Cardinals Draft Picks (@PFF Big Board Rank) and 2018 Overall Grade:— PFF ARZ Cardinals (@PFF_Cardinals) April 28, 2019
Kyler Murray (1) - 94.6
Byron Murphy (6) - 92.0
Andy Isabella (30) - 93.2
Zach Allen (40) - 90.9
Hakeem Butler (42) - 82.4
Deionte Thompson (66) - 88.4
Keesean Johnson (173) - 82.9
Lamont Gaillard (106) - 78.2 pic.twitter.com/XIH9OXIwAo
Two of their first four picks were on the defensive side of the ball in cornerback Byron Murphy and defensive end Zach Allen. Murphy will immediately start opposite Pat Peterson while Allen will challenge for playing time opposite Chandler Jones out of the gate.
Butler joins Deionte Thompson as their biggest value picks with both falling to the fourth and fifth round, respectively.
They topped their draft off by selecting some really nice depth pieces in the trenches. Lamont Gaillard was arguably the best center out of the SEC this season while Josh Miles is a small-school tackle who jumped out of the gym during the combine. Michael Dogbe provides DL depth and tight end Caleb Wilson is another potential option in the passing game behind Ricky Seals-Jones.
It’s hard to make the statement for “best draft” with only a handful of picks, but the Titans were able to do just that with only six picks.
They started the draft off by taking the plunge of defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons out of Mississippi State. He is a top-5 talent when healthy and keeps that interior defense fercious alongside Jurrell Casey. AJ Brown was the top wide receiver on some boards and they were able to snag him in the second after a short fall. If Marcus Mariota still struggles to fall with Brown at his disposal, then the Titans should start to worry because this guy is FUN to watch.
Offensive guard Nate Davis is a dog and should be able to fill the hole left by Josh Kline in no time. He has experience at right tackle and guard and loves to play the way the Titans want to up front. Safety Amani fits the new breed of safety in the NFL and can be the perfect compliment to Kevin Byard on the back end.
Rounding out their draft with defensive end De’Andre and linebacker David Long give the Titans two more depth pieces that know how to play wild and fast.
All in all, there’s not one player on this list that makes me go “meh”. They are all players.
New England Patriots
Like clockwork, the Patriots wound up with double-digit picks in this year’s draft and made the most of it. They stayed-put in the first round and nabbed wide receiver N’keal Harry out of Arizona State. With wide receiver being a position they haven’t invested much in iver the years, it’s awesome to see them get Tom Brady a bonafide threat on the outside. If Josh Gordon ends up coming back, watch out.
Joejuan Williams was their second and this 6-foot-4 corner can really get after opposing wideouts. Gone are the days where the Patriots secondary can be exposed each week. Chase Winovich in the third is amazing value as one of the twitchiest, high-motor talents at the position. He’s gotta start following the departure of Trey Flowers.
Running back Damien Harris, offensive guard Hjalte Froholdt, and offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste were all taken in the third and all have the potential to either start or earn playing time in their first few years. Harris and Sony Michel in the backfield is something else.
The Jarrett Stidham pick is a little odd but Belichick loves flipping mid-round in draft capital after a couples so it’s not surprising. Byron Cowart and Ken Webster are solid depth pieces while punter Jake Bailey is one of the top punters in this year’s class. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him win that job and hold it for the forseeable future.
This draft ended with some nice pieces, but they butchered their first picks to the point I didn’t feel they were able to come back from it.
Tytus Howard in the first feels like a reach to me when much better tackles were still on the board. Max Sharping in the third was an even bigger reach as I wouldn’t have touched him until day three. I can’t believe these were their best shots at helping to protect Deshaun Watson. I’d be livid if I was him. Lonnie Johnson is a solid pick, albeit a little high, but he has the upside to justify the second-round selection. Kahale Warring in the fourth became a much better pick when it was announced that current Texans tight end Ryan Griffin was arrested in Nashville over the weekend.
The Texans made up for some of their earlier mishaps by snagging the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in Charles Omenihu. He can play inside and outside depending on where he keeps his weight but it was by far my favorite pick of theirs.
With their final picks, they selected the lesser of the two Central Michigan corners and a linebacker-turned-fullback from Texas A&M. There’s just nothing there to get excited about if I were a Texans fan. Underwhelming from start to finish.
One of the biggest needs for the Falcons coming into the draft was offensive line help. Guards, tackles, it didn’t matter. They needed help. With their first pick at #14 this year, it put them in prime position to draft one of the top guys no matter what. When their pick rolled around, the only linemen selected was Jonah Williams. Guys like Cody Ford and Jawaan Taylor were both still available and were expected to be next. However, they went with Chris Lindstrom out of Boston College. Arguably the best guard in the draft, they got a sure-fire starter who should be their guy for the next decade. Some expected him to go later, but when you know, you know. This isn’t their reason for being on here, though.
Before the end of day one, the Falcons traded back into the first by moving up to the Rams pick at #31 and taking...Kaleb McGary. Now McGary up to this point was a consensus second-round pick. And let me remind that Ford, Taylor, and Dalton Risner were all still on the board at the time. They traded away much-needed draft capital following a down year to take a tackle who most likely would have been there in the second while so many better prospects were still on the board.
Kaleb McGary's Pass Block Grade by season (rank among Pac-12 Tackles)— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Falcons) April 26, 2019
2015 - 57.0 (23rd of 24)
2016 - 66.5 (20th of 24)
2017 - 76.2 (14th of 24)
2018 - 80.6 (12th of 24)
The Falcons didn’t pick until the fourth round where they selected cornerback Kendell Sheffield and defensive end John Cominsky. Sheffield could help the secondary while Cominsky is a toolsy small-school defender that may find himself in a rotation if he shows consistency.
Their last three picks were all pretty forgetful as they selected 230-pound running back Qadree Ollison from Pitt, cornerback Jordan Miller from Washington, and wide receiver Marcus Green from Louisiana Monroe.
Watch out for Green in the future. He was a first team all-conference wide receiver and return man in the Sun Belt over the last two years. He had four return touchdowns over that span and may be one of the better selections from this year’s haul for the Falcons.