Looking back, the 2019 NFL draft results were full of surprises, some pleasant, some not so much. On draft day, some coaches, prospects, and fans are overcome with elation and hope. They believe that the draft met and exceeded their greatest expectations. Others rage over what they view as an absolute bust of a pick or a colossal oversight. Regardless, some win and some lose on draft day.
Here’s a look back at the 2019 NFL Draft prospects and the teams that selected them.
WINNER: Arizona Cardinals Roster
With the first pick in the draft, the Cardinals took Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray who would go on to become the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Murray was a great pick, but so were two of the Cardinals’ next three selections. Second-round pick Byron Murphy was a big contributor in the defensive secondary and third-round pick Zach Allen began the season as a starter at defensive end.
WINNER: Iowa Tight Ends in NFL
The University of Iowa and Brian Ferentz have produced some outstanding NFL tight ends. The 2019 draft was no exception. The Hawkeyes had not one, but two, tight ends drafted…and they both went in the first round.
T.J. Hockenson went No. 8 to Detroit and teammate Noah Fant was the 20th overall pick of the Denver Broncos.
Both had solid first seasons. Hockenson caught 32 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns. Fant hauled in 40 receptions for 522 yards and three scores.
WINNER: Tennessee Titans Record
Many laughed at Tennessee for taking DT Jeffery Simmons with the 19th overall pick. Simmons had a history of behavior issues plus he tore an ACL while preparing for the draft. The Titans took him anyway and he came back from the injury to start seven games.
The Titans got even better value in Round 2 when they took the “other” Ole Miss wide receiver – A.J. Brown. He ended up as the Titans leading receiver with 52 catches for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns.
Tennessee got another gem in Round 3 when they took guard Nate Davis out of Charlotte. Davis missed the first three games of the season but wound up the Titans’ starter at right guard.
LOSER: Detroit Lions Rumors
For the third time in 10 years, the Lions selected a tight end in the first round of the draft. T.J. Hockenson had a solid rookie season, but Detroit had more pressing needs like an edge rusher.
Their second-round pick, LB Jahlani Tavai, started only six games and recorded just 58 tackles. Tavai suffered a shoulder injury in Week 16 and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve.
Third-round pick Will Harris is a backup safety, fourth-round DE Austin Bryant played in just four games, and none of the Lions remaining picks made a significant impact on the roster.
LOSER: Josh Rosen Trade
Imagine being the 10th overall pick in the NFL draft. That was Arizona QB Josh Rosen in 2018. A year later, his team decides to take another quarterback at No. 1. The Cardinals, of course, select Murray who becomes the starter and Rosen is shipped off to Miami.
As if that isn’t bad enough, Rosen is not the starter in Miami in Week 1. He winds up starting just three games in 2019 and finds himself in a similar position in 2020. The Dolphins are likely to draft their quarterback of the future in 2020.
BUST: Dwayne Haskins Instagram
Granted, Haskins was walking into a mess in Washington, but did the Redskins really think a one-year college starter was going to turn around the franchise in a single season? Haskins started one season at Ohio State and had a phenomenal year. He threw for 4,831 yards and a whopping 50 touchdowns for the Buckeyes.
His college success didn’t immediately translate at the NFL level. Haskins started seven games and completed just 58.6 percent of his passes. He threw as many interceptions (7) as he did touchdowns (7). At times, he looked confused and, as a result, Haskins was sacked 29 times. He still has time to redeem himself, but the Redskins are probably wishing they had a do-over on last year’s No. 15 overall pick.
BUST: Rashan Gary PFF
When a team drafts a pass-rushing specialist No. 12 overall, there is some expectation of performance. Green Bay took Gary with the 12th pick, but didn’t get what they were hoping from the former Michigan star. Gary, who wowed scouts at the NFL Combine by running a 4.58 40-yard dash, played in all 16 games for the Packers but recorded just 21 tackles and two sacks.
Green Bay did sign Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith last offseason and the pair accounted for 25.5 sacks. Still, one would expect a first-round pick like Gary to have had more of an impact in his rookie season.
2019 NFL Draft Results are in. Virtual NFL Draft 2020?
If winners and losers can be found in something so much time is spent developing. What will the 2020 NFL Draft results look like when this years virtual clock demands a pick. And next years evaluation decides…