Winners and Losers - Day 1
| Winners and Losers - Day 3
By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
May 1, 2019
The Colts traded out of the first round, but were able to come away from the second round with three players who should help them immediately. I had Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin slotted to the Colts in my final 2019 NFL Mock Draft and knew that they loved him. Ya-Sin is a strong corner who really fits well with the physicality that Indianapolis is now making a core identity for the team. Ya-Sin should be able to compete quickly and upgrade the Colts' pass coverage. Further help for the defense came in the form of TCU edge rusher Ben Banogu. While he has some limitations, Banogu should be able to contribute quickly as a designated pass-rusher. Having Banogu will help the Colts to deploy a rotation to keep veterans Jabaal Sheard and Justin Houston healthy for crunch time. Third-round pick Bobby Okereke should improve their linebacking talent next to Darius Leonard, but even if Okereke doesn't play on defense quickly, he should be a good special teams player who provides quality depth.
The final second-round pick was Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell, and he was a steal for Indianapolis late in the second round because he could have gone late in the first round and nobody would have thought it was a reach. The ultra-fast Campbell should combine with T.Y. Hilton and veteran Devin Funchess to provide Andrew Luck with more mismatch ability next year. In the long run, Campbell could end up becoming a No. 1 receiver for the Colts, because Funchess only signed a 1-year contract and has been inconsistent in his career. Hilton, meanwhile, turns 30 during the 2019 season and is in the final two seasons of his contract. Given his size and some injuries in his career, Hilton could slow down before too long. That could lead to the Colts looking at Campbell as their No. 1 of the future if he plays well, so he probably will get plenty of opportunities and targets from Luck. Indianapolis is one of the best young teams in the NFL, and Campbell could be a centerpiece of the future.
While Indianapolis' draft did not have the flash of a first-round pick, this group could build upon what was started the past few years under general manager Chris Ballard and director of college scouting Morocco Brown to continue the Colts' progress towards being one of the elite teams in the AFC.
For the second straight year, Denver has earned one my picks for Second-Day Winners. In 2018, John Elway had an excellent second day, and this year, he surrounded those players with more talent, headlined by Missouri quarterback Drew Lock. Lock has a first-round skill set with a cannon for an arm, mobility and good tape, including setting records in the SEC, plus is an intelligent young quarterback. He slipped to the second round because of a unique personality and having some issues in technique that need to be corrected. Still, Lock has the potential to be a franchise quarterback, so landing him in Round 2 is a steal for Denver.
After Lock, the Broncos added two more future starters in second-round pick Dalton Risner and third-round pick Dre'Mont Jones. Risner could move to center and start quickly for Denver. He should bolster the interior of Denver's offensive line while helping to open holes for Philip Lindsey in the ground game. Jones is a fast and disruptive defensive tackle who is a dangerous interior pass-rusher. Offensive lines are going to have their hands full with him rushing between Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. This was an excellent draft for Denver that could combine with the 2018 class to give Denver a talented core of the team for many years to come.
Their 2019 draft class was all about supporting Carson Wentz for the Eagles, and they came away with three essential building blocks for any successful NFL offense. After landing a skilled pass-blocking left tackle in Round 1, Philadelphia landed a dangerous running back in the form of Miles Sanders in Round 2. Sanders is a tough runner who gets yards after contact and is a great scheme fit as a receiver out of the backfield. A few picks after taking Sanders, Philadelphia grabbed Wentz a mismatch receiver with Stanford's J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Sources from other teams said the big wideout is a poor man's Mike Evans, and he could flourish with teams focused on stopping Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. Landing Sanders and Arcega-Whiteside in the second round was good value, and they should provide Philadelphia with more offensive fire power as soon as their rookie seasons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Devin White was a fine first-round pick for Tampa Bay, and he should turn into an excellent pro assuming he stays healthy. What Tampa Bay did on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft was seriously questionable, and it is reminiscent of general manager Jason Licht having other second-day blunders like kicker Roberto Aguayo, edge rusher Noah Spence, running back Charles Sims, and potentially running back Ronald Jones. Over 2016 and 2018, Tampa Bay drafted three cornerbacks in the first and second round, yet Licht felt that wasn't enough or he's admitting some of those players were mistakes, because he drafted two more cornerbacks, Central Michigan's Sean Bunting and Auburn's Jamel Dean, in the second and third round, respectively.
In speaking to sources at other teams, there was one team that had Bunting in the second round, but there were others that had him as a late-rounder and one team had him in their undrafted free agent pool. Yet Licht took him with the 39th-overall pick. Dean has a good skill set with size and speed, but many teams had him on Day 3 because of technique issues. The Bucs' other third-round pick, Kentucky safety Mike Edwards, was okay as a mid-rounder. Between Vernon Hargreaves, Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart, Bunting and Dean, the Buccaneers have five young cornerbacks selected in the first three rounds, which is a ton of draft capital devoted to one position group. When you consider some of these players have serious bust potential, it looks even more questionable. After landing a good player on Day 1, it looks very difficult to say that Tampa Bay got any better on the second day.
The Texans had a bad first night of the draft and followed it up with an ugly second night. They led Day 2 off with Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson, who has a good skill set with size and speed, but he never played up to it with the Wildcats. Johnson has a serious lack of instincts, and that caused teams to target him last year rather than Derrick Baity or Chris Westry, who don't have even close to the skill set that Johnson does. Other teams had Johnson graded a round or two later than where Houston took him. SEC teams illustrated that Johnson can be picked on, and the Texans took an athlete over a football player with that pick.
The next selection was another reach, Northern Illinois tackle Max Scharping. Scharping was an okay college player, but he has illustrated that he needs development for the NFL. During Bill O'Brien's 6-year tenure with Houston, the team have failed to develop offensive linemen. In O'Brien's fifth season, they Texans fielded a terrible blocking front that led to Deshaun Watson having to be bused to games to protect a lung injury. If general manager Brian Gaine had been a little more aggressive, Houston could have moved up for better offensive line prospects like Florida's Jawaan Taylor, Oklahoma's Cody Ford, Ole Miss' Greg Little, and Texas A&M's Erik McCoy. All four of those players went to teams who traded up for them, and their general managers saw the potential steals that each of them could be after the first round.
The third round was another reach by the Texans with San Diego State tight end Kahale Warring. Warring is a bit of a project, and one that seemed questionable to take on after Gaine drafted two tight ends last year, third-round pick Jordan Akins and late-rounder Jordan Thomas. Akins was a big disappointment last season, while Thomas played better than expected. Additionally, Houston has veterans Ryan Griffin and Darren Fells returning. What makes the Warring pick even more painful is Houston passing on Alabama running back Damien Harris. He could have been a three-down starter of the future for the Texans and was a steal to be had in the third round. With Lamar Miller on his last legs and O'Brien potentially running D'Onta Foreman out of town, another running back would make sense, especially a three-down starting-caliber player like Harris. Instead, the Texans will have to deal with Harris as part of a one-two punch with Sony Michel next time they take on New England, which O'Brien has really struggled against.
Houston didn't have a fourth-round pick after Gaine squandered it away in the Demaryius Thomas trade, which produced next to nothing for the Texans. Under former general manager Rick Smith, Houston had one of the best scouting departments in the NFL. The organization was the only team not to have a first-round pick go bust over a 10-year span. In that time, the Texans landed a future Hall of Famer in J.J. Watt, a franchise left tackle in Duane Brown, perhaps the best receiver in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins, and a potential star in franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson; were wise enough to take Jadeveon Clowney instead of Blake Bortles; and drafted a lot of quality players like Whitney Mercilus and Kareem Jackson. That scouting department also produced some of the best undrafted free agents in the NFL with Arian Foster and A.J. Bouye. Unfortunately for the Texans, O'Brien purged the organization of their scouting talent in favor of yes men like Gaine. The results are an ugly draft class for the Texans, including this terrible showing on Day 2 when they had two second-round picks at their disposal.
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