Published: April 29, 2019 at 03:07 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2019 at 12:06 p.m.

Which team won the 2019 NFL Draft? Raiders, Patriots earn high praise

Print

With all 32 teams selecting a total of 254 players over a three-day span in the 2019 NFL Draft, let's take a look at which teams improved most over the weekend. Simply put:

Which team won the draft?

Redskins land franchise quarterback, fill a number of roster holes
The Washington Redskins needed a big draft and got one. They landed their franchise quarterback in Dwayne Haskins without having to trade up in Round 1, while adding the fastest edge rusher, Montez Sweat, in this defense-heavy class. Not to mention, Washington got wide receiver Terry McLaurin, a guy who ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and knows Haskins' game (they were teammates at Ohio State). Plus, running back Bryce Love, a fourth-round selection, could be the steal of the draft.
The Niners got help for today; the Giants will be winners down the road
Let's break this answer into two categories. In terms of immediate help, I'll go with the San Francisco 49ers. No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa will help their pass rush, which will, in turn help their secondary coming off a season in which the Niners logged two interceptions. Receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd will provide help right away, with Samuel adding value as a really good returner.

Now, if we're looking at which team will benefit, say, three years down the road, my pick is the New York Giants. Two of their three first-round picks this year -- DT Dexter Lawrence and CB Deandre Baker -- will start immediately, but by Year 3, the first pick -- Daniel Jones -- will have taken over for current quarterback Eli Manning. And I think Jones is going to be the real deal.
Mike Mayock shines in his first go-around with the Raiders
The Raiders killed it. What's funny is that for years, Mike Mayock was regarded as one of the top talent evaluators in the NFL. His yearly conference call was the most anticipated part of draft season, save for the actual draft himself. And while it seemed like the Raiders reached for Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 selection, you should realize that if Mayock were still part of the media, he would have had Ferrell as one of his top defenders -- and his draft stock would have risen in response. But credit to Mayock for keeping that close to the pinstriped vest and being able to get his guy. He also rebuilt the Raiders' defense with a number of solid picks and even found a successor to Marshawn Lynch when he drafted Josh Jacobs. So have your fun with the Raiders now, because we are going to look back on this draft much differently by this time next year. Or you will; I already know this was a really good draft.
The Patriots continue to prove why they're the best
Not like they need it, but Bill Belichick and the Patriots had themselves a great draft weekend. To put it simply, they got great value out of a majority of their draft picks. Receiver N'Keal Harry should improve a receiving corps that just lost the best tight end in the league to retirement. Second-round selection Joejuan Williams should help an aging secondary. Third-rounder Chase Winovich addresses their pass rush need. And fourth-round pick and running back Damien Harris was my second-ranked back in this class. What a steal!
Buffalo addresses crucial needs with early-, mid-round picks
I really like what the Buffalo Bills did in the 2019 NFL Draft. With defensive tackle Kyle Williams retiring this offseason, Buffalo landed one of the highest-graded DTs in this class in Ed Oliver. Guard Cody Ford should help keep second-year quarterback Josh Allen from routinely running for his life, and fourth-round tight end Dawson Knox addresses a need the Bills have tried to fill for years. But the pick I'm most excited about is running back Devin Singletary. He's in the perfect position to learn and succeed behind two veterans ( LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore) and should earn some playing time.
Green Bay's defense improved exponentially this offseason
Every team won in the draft because they all got better. I could go many ways with this choice, but I am going to choose the Green Bay Packers.

One of the Packers' glaring weaknesses last season was a lack of pass rush. It was obviously a priority in free agency when they signed Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith. They continued that emphasis when they drafted Rashan Gary at No. 12 overall. Gary, who played last year with an injured shoulder, should be their best outside rusher and could also play DT in their nickel defense. Safety was also a major problem last season. The signing of former Chicago Bear Adrian Amos was one of the most valuable signings in free agency. Then in the draft, the Packers took Darnell Savage, who is an excellent athlete and played both safety positions in college, as well as LB and CB in the nickel defense. Elgton Jenkins, another second-rounder, has played center, guard and tackle, and he has the potential to start at guard soon with the Packers. Jace Sternberger gives them a very good pass-catching tight end, which Aaron Rodgers should be happy about.
Print

Related Stories: