Oakland and New England coming in at 4 and 5
The 2019 NFL Draft was exactly the show we wanted as fans. The excitement was felt throughout the energized crowd in Nashville, TN. The fans on social media had plenty to say too! Now that the dust has settled following the draft, it’s time to take a look at which teams did the best job of acquiring talent. Here is my opinion on the five highest ranked teams from the 2019 draft. Rankings were given out based on a broad, but simple, criteria. Scheme fit, team need, player upside, and overall talent were the primary factors I used to make this list.
This Top 5 list is going to be broken down into three different articles. I will start here with teams ranked 4th and 5th. Look out for the next piece covering my 2nd and 3rd rated drafts which is coming soon! I will be highlighting my favorite picks from each of these teams drafts. Tune in to my takes! Feel free to leave a comment below!
5. New England Patriots
The Evil Empire continues to build their team the right way. The Patriots kicked off their 2019 draft by picking up Arizona State Wide Receiver N’Keal Harry with the 32rd pick. Harry is a perfect fit for the Patriots scheme. He provides Tom Brady with a new red zone “jump ball” target, with Gronk officially retiring this offseason. Harry also excels with gaining yards after the catch, so look for the Pats screen game to get a boost as well. Harry is a versatile weapon who can play on the outside or in the slot.
JoeJuan Williams was selected in the 2nd round by the Pats. Williams should compete for a starting Safety position with New England, after playing Cornerback at Vanderbilt. They added the well-rounded Alabama running back, Damien Harris, in the third round. Harris was the most consistent runner out of that Alabama backfield over the last couple of years. EDGE defender Chase Winovich was selected with their next third round pick. He was very productive at Michigan and should fit well in their scene. The Patriots had three different picks in the third round. They used their last pick of this round to bring in help up front by selecting Offensive Tackle Yodny Cajuste, out of West Virginia University. Cajuste is a project at Tackle, but could develop into a starter in the NFL.
The Patriots were able to pick up talented players on both sides of the ball. I liked how they were able to get great value with their three different third round picks. As you usually see with New England, they draft players to fit very specific roles on their team. I am also a fan of Auburn QB, Jarrett Stidham, to develop while backing up the legend, Tom Brady. Look for their first round pick, N’Keal Harry, to have an instant impact on their offense.
4. Oakland Raiders
This draft was very important to the Oakland Raiders. Since hiring head coach Jon Gruden to a 10-year contract, the Raiders have traded stars Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack in exchange for multiple draft picks. Gruden obviously has his eyes on the future, and this draft was set to establish their franchise for the next couple of seasons.
General Manager Mike Mayock started off by picking their ideal, scheme-fit, Defensive End. With the 4th overall pick, the Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell from Clemson. We highlighted Ferrell in a Quick Profile here! Although this pick may be deemed a “reach”, the Raiders got the player they wanted, who fits their defense. Make no mistake about it, Ferrell will be a force. With the 24th overall pick in the draft, the Raiders selected Bama Running Back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs is a hyper explosive athlete and a perfect fit for the Raiders offense. He won’t be asked to do everything out of Oakland’s backfield, as they use a “Running Back by Committee” approach at that position.
Oakland used the 27th pick on Safety Johnathan Abram from Mississippi State. Abram is the type of Safety fans and coaches want on their teams. He is versatile and reliable in coverage, and has a knack for making big plays. Abram is big time hitter and should bring attitude to that young Raiders secondary. Another player to watch is their second round pick, Trayvon Mullen. Mullen was a big time Corner for that Clemson secondary and should transition well into the league. The Raiders used the rest of their draft picks to bring in more pass rushers and players in the secondary, while also scooping up a Tight End for the offense. An overall great start for the tandem of Gruden and Mayock as they attempt to bring back the pride of the silver and black!